Die beleweniswereld van transgender adolessente

Saunders, Inez (2013-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A literature search done by the researcher has noted that there is little information available regarding transadolescents’ experience within the South African context. In a society that only acknowledges two genders, transgenderism remains invisible. The transgender minority group tends to be more neglected, misunderstood and stigmatized than their homosexual peers. Transadolescents, who are already in a challenging phase of development, are at risk for negative outcomes such as bullying, scholastic problems, social isolation and depression. The aim of this research is therefore to explore and describe the transadolescents’ subjective experience in their own words. To facilitate this process the research was positioned in the interpretative/constructionist paradigm, in terms of which it is based on the premise that subjective experiences are created during social interaction. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model was used as theoretical framework to illustrate the reciprocal interactions between the various micro- and macrosystems. The qualitative research approach was used to explicate the essence of the participants’ lived experience. Phenomenology was selected as the most appropriate research design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three transadolescents and thematic analysis was used to code and organise the data and to present it in the form of a narrative report. Five themes and associated categories were identified. It was found that the transadolescent experiences identity formation as particularly challenging and that there are individual differences between self-identities and gender expressions. The process of disclosure towards parents is accompanied by considerable anxiety and there are major differences in the disclosure practices that are followed. Parents’ reactions differ and can range from acceptance to eviction. Preference is given to friends who are also seen as being ‘different’ and it can be quite a relief to share their identity with friends regardless of their reactions. Even though South Africa has a policy of inclusive education, the reality is one of discrimination, bullying and isolation. Furthermore, medical services in South Africa are inadequate and transadolescents are exposed to discrimination and unsympathetic professionals. Consequently much must still be done to promote understanding of transadolescents, so that the different contexts in which they move can be better prepared to deliver effective and supportive services.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tans is daar beperkte inligting beskikbaar omtrent die transadolessent se beleweniswêreld binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Binne ‘n samelewing wat slegs twee genders erken, speel transgenderisme agter geslote deure af. Die transgender-minderheidsgroep word meer afgeskeep, misverstaan en gestigmatiseer as hul homoseksuele eweknieë. Binne ‘n alreeds uitdagende ontwikkelingsfase, is die transadolessent besonder weerloos vir negatiewe uitkomste soos afknouery, skolastiese probleme, sosiale isolasie en depressie. Die doel van die studie is gevolglik om die transadolessent se subjektiewe belewenis in hul eie woorde te verken en te beskryf. Om hierdie proses te fasiliteer is die studie geposisioneer in die interpretatiewe/ konstruksionistiese paradigma wat voorstel dat subjektiewe ervarings tydens sosiale interaksie geskep word. Bronfenbrenner se bio-ekologiese model is as teoretiese raamwerk gebruik om hierdie wederkerige interaksie tussen die verskillende mikrostelsels en die makrostelsel te illustreer. Die kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenadering is gevolg om ‘n waarheidsgetroue beeld weer te gee van die deelnemers se subjektiewe belewenis en fenomenologie is as mees geskikte navorsingsontwerp gekies. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is met drie transadolessente gevoer en die data is met behulp van die tematiese analise gekodeer, georganiseer en in ‘n narratiewe verslagvorm weergegee. Die data-analise het gelei tot die identifisering van vyf temas en gepaardgaande kategorieë. Daar is bevind dat identiteitsvorming ‘n uitdagende proses vir die transadolessent is en dat individue se self-identiteit en uitlewing van hul identiteit verskil. Die openbaarmakingsproses aan ouers gaan met geweldige angstigheid gepaard en daar is groot individuele verskille in die wyse waarop dit geskied. Ouers reageer verskillend en dit wissel van algehele aanvaarding tot uitsetting. Voorkeur word gegee aan vriende wat ook as ‘anders’ bestempel word en ongeag vriende se reaksie, is dit ‘n verligting om hul identiteit te deel. Ten spyte daarvan dat Suid-Afrika inklusiewe onderwyspraktyke voorstaan, is die realiteit een van diskriminasie, afknouery en isolasie. Voorts is die mediese dienste in Suid-Afrika ontoereikend en transadolessente word blootgestel aan diskriminasie en onsimpatieke professionele persone. Te oordeel hieraan, moet daar baie gedoen word om die transadolessente beter te verstaan sodat die verskillende kontekste waarbinne hulle beweeg, beter voorbereid is om effektiewe en ondersteunende dienste te lewer.

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