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Effects of All-Gender Workplace Facilities Signage on Adults’ Attitudes Toward Transgender and Nonbinary People and Policies

ABSTRACT Signage for gender-segregated and all-gender facilities (e.g. restrooms, locker rooms) represents gender through imagery and language. Adults regularly encounter the visual cues of facilities signage, yet little research examines how they may affect adults’ conceptualization of gender and attitudes toward transgender and nonbinary (TNB) people and related policies. In this preregistered online experiment with a national sample of adults (United States), we test the differential impact of exposure to all-gender and gender-segregated facilities signage in an office workplace scenario on the attitudes of 385 participants. Exposure to all-gender facilities signage in the office environment positively predicted attitudes toward TNB people, and these attitudes were associated with attitudes toward gender-affirming policies. Unexpectedly, prior exposure to all-gender facilities in everyday life (EDL) was associated with more negative attitudes toward TNB people. Signage exposure in the experiment had no significant direct effects on binary conceptualization of gender and policy attitudes, but interaction effects between experimental condition and prior facilities exposure were found for these outcomes. Results from the experiment show a positive immediate impact of all-gender facilities cues on adults’ attitudes toward people whose identities may challenge traditional gender-related norms, but they also reveal potential limitations of all-gender facilities in shifting adults’ attitudes. Social and theoretical implications are discussed.