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Social science research is riddled with empirical and methodological limitations. Moreover, there are many inherent challenges to conducting research with populations that are relatively small, demographically diverse, geographically dispersed, hard to reach, and generally distrustful of “researchers.” Transgender individuals meet nearly all of these inherently challenging criteria. There are proportionally fewer trans people than cisgender people in the general population; trans and gender nonconforming people vary as widely as there are different demographic domains; transgender people live in both rural and urban communities in nearly every state in the United States; many, but not all, are accessible online; and many are ambivalent about participating in research.

Throughout this entry, trans* is used as an umbrella term to include transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, and other gender variant ...

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