Using Transgender Health Disparities to Understand Stigma


Download this resource to see full details
This in-class activity examines how stigma impacts health care access and treatment. Stigma is a multifaceted process that emerges from five interrelated components, including labeling human differences, associating differences with negative attributes, separating “use” from “them,” experiencing status loss and discrimination, and exercising power. Additionally, the occurrence and consequences of stigma take place at multiple levels, including individual, interpersonal, and structural. Medical sociologists have linked these stigma processes to adverse health experiences and outcomes. This in-class activity asks students to look at data on trans health to identify how these different levels of stigma impact trans people’s healthcare experiences and to develop potential solutions that take into account the multifaceted nature of stigma on health. The ultimate goal of this assignment is to help students apply fuzzy and abstract concepts, like stigma, to a real-world example.


Resource Type(s):
Class Activity 
Danielle Giffort 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Medical Sociology 
Class Level:
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

Download this resource to see full details
This in-class exercise was designed for students taking an upper-division elective in medical sociology. Ideally, the in-class activity takes place after students have already learned the basics of medical sociology, including the social construction of illness and fundamental cause theory. Having said that, this activity could be adapted for use...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

Download this resource to see full details
Goal 1:
To apply course concepts to real-world examples.
Assessment 1:
Students will review publicly available data on transgender health to practice identifying abstract concepts in real-world situations.
Goal 2:
To identify how different levels of stigma impact healthcare access and treatment.
Assessment 2:
Students will hone their critical thinking skills by developing their own interventions for reducing transgender stigma while basing their interventions in course concepts and readings.
Goal 3:
To develop potential solutions for health disparities that take into account the multifaceted nature of stigma.

Files for Download:

Right-click and choose "Save As..." to save file.
Stigma and Trans Health Activity (Revised on 10.05.19).docx