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Criminalization of Gender Nonconformity

The criminalization of gender nonconformity refers to the policing of adherence to expected gender norms at individual, interpersonal, and institutional levels and the association of violating those norms or identifying as genderqueer or nonbinary with criminal misconduct. Although the reason why gender nonconforming individuals are criminalized for their gender identities and presentations has not yet been explored by research, it can be assumed that the ambiguity and the tendency for humans to categorize people into in- and out-group dyads may be one mechanism through which this discrimination operates. A tendency to criminalize or pathologize that which is unknown is characteristic of heteronormative cultures. This entry briefly discusses the association between gender nonconformity and criminal behavior, the intersectional nature of criminalizing gender nonconformity, and the cycle ...

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