Article Title: Measuring Attitudes toward Hijras in Pakistan: Gender and Religiosity in Perspective

Author(s): Humaira Jami and Anila Kamal

Institute(s): National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1, 151-187

Correspondence Address: Humaira Jami, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Email: jami@nip.edu.pk

Abstract

Hijras are marginalised and stigmatised sexual minority in Pakistan. Quite recently, hijras have attained third gender status at the State level in Pakistan. Main objectives of the present study were to develop a valid and reliable scale for measuring attitudes towards hijras of hijra community and then establishing role of gender and religiosity in these attitudes. Present research was accomplished in two studies. In Study 1, 32 items based Attitude towards Hijra Scale was developed by utilising empirical approach. Through principle component analysis of exploratory factor analysis, 3 factors emerged namely Rights and Status, Social Distance, and Sexual Issues on the data of 350 participants. In Study 2, psychometric properties of the scale were established on sample of 186 university students. Cronbach alphas and construct validity based on significant positive inter-subscale correlations and correlations with total score were satisfactory. Overall, participants had more acceptance of hijras’ rights and status than accepting them in close relationship and tolerating sexual issues. Men and more religion-practising individuals had more negative attitudes towards hijras than their counterparts that reflected upon construct validity of the scale. Most of the participants had low level of interaction with hijras, among them men had more level of interaction than women. Level of interaction had significant correlation with attitudes, with less interaction attitudes are positive. Most of the participants believed that hijras are born with sexual deformities (hempahrodite/intersexed), comparatively more women believed so than men. Findings were later discussed in socio-cultural context of Pakistan.

Keywords. Hijras, transgenders, transsexuals, eunuch, civil rights, social distance, sexuality, religiosity, Islam, religious orientation

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