To be certain, Ms. Jenner’s polarizing influence on the trans community has been well documented. But, how has she fared outside of the LGBTQ world?
I found a fairly decent post on the subject to share with all of you. It’s written by Patrick Miller, an associate professor of political science at the University of Kansas. Here is an excerpt:
“The Politics of Being ‘Cait’: Caitlyn Jenner, Transphobia, and Parasocial Contact Effects on Transgender-Related Political Attitudes” appears in the current issue of American Politics Research.
“The entire question of celebrities in politics is vastly understudied,” Miller said.
“Politicians seek their endorsement. Brands obviously pay them a lot of money to endorse their products. We have the sense that they’re important but—especially in political science—we have not appreciated enough just how important they can be.”
That importance is reflected in the opinions of Americans who followed Jenner when she revealed her transgender identity in 2015. Examining how age, partisanship and transphobia impacted engagement with the Jenner story, Miller found it shaped attitudes toward transgender rights in unexpected ways.
“What’s interesting about the Jenner case is the people who she seemed to influence are the older, more conservative type—those who probably became vested in her back when she was Bruce Jenner competing in the Olympics and appearing on Wheaties boxes,” said Miller, who co-authored the article with KU’s Don Haider-Markel along with Andrew Flores, Daniel Lewis, Barry Tadlock and Jami Taylor.
Conducted in 2015 shortly after Jenner came out, Miller’s survey reveals that among the respondents who followed her story, those who were both older and more transphobic were less likely to see it as reflecting negative social trends compared to younger people who were equally anti-transgender. And this same group was more likely to support pro-transgender policies if they interpreted Jenner’s story less negatively.
“She didn’t appear to have any effect on the younger people who might have been more attuned to “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” So, in that sense, her audience seemed rather durable, despite her rebranding over time,” he said.”
Find more on this post here.