Dr. Hill is an applied social psychologist who studies the influence of social, cultural, and historical context on gender and sexuality. He's known for the "Genderism and Transphobia Scale" a questionnaire that has been used in over a hundred studies of anti-trans prejudice, and he continues to conduct experimental quantitative studies of anti-trans prejudice. He's also known for his oral history approach to psychology: he's published an oral history of Toronto's trans community, and has several oral and life history projects under way, including a study of New York's neo-burlesque performers, life stories of crossdressers in the 1980s, residents in a college dorm, and an intersectional analysis of residents of the Willowbrook State School. He has also published on the theory/practice problem in social psychology.
PhD, University of Windsor (Canada)
MA, University of Saskatchewan
BA, University of Saskatchewan (Canada)
Scholarship / Publications
Hill, D.B. (2016). Sexual admissions: An intersectional Analysis of Certifications and Residency at Willowbrook State School (1950-1985). Sexuality and Disability, 34, 103-129.
Goode, D., Hill, D.B., Reiss, J., & Bronston, W. (2013). A history and sociology of Willowbrook State School. Washington, DC: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Hill, D.B. (2012). Trans Toronto: An oral history. New York: William Rodney Press.
In general, I’m interested in the social psychology of gender and sexuality, but I also have interests in history, theory, and philosophy of psychology.
History of Disability
Helen Starogiannis and I have been researching the lives of residents at Willowbrook State School, particularly how the institution regulated residents' gender and sexuality. The first report on this study was published in Sexuality and Disability.
David Goode, Jean Reiss, and William Bronston and I published a book on Willowbrook State School. It is a history and sociology of the institution before it became CSI.
History of Gender
I have published several reports on an oral history of Toronto’s trans community. My book on this topic, Trans Toronto: An Oral History is now available. Trans Toronto Cover.jpg
I recently published my historical analysis of Magnus Hirschfeld’s German transvestite case studies, first published in 1910, in the Journal of the History of Sexuality.
I have studied the contributions of Harry Benjamin and how he reacted to transsexual youth (1963-1976) in the International Journal of Transgenderism.
I’m currently working to create a digital archive of interviews Mariette Pathy Allen (the noted New York photographer) conducted with crossdressers and their partners in the 1980s.
Gender Variant and Non-Conforming Youth
I have been studying gender variant youth, their parents, and the diagnosis of gender identity disorder in children and adolescents. I’ve recently published three papers, the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, and the Journal of LGBT Youth, based on a national survey of parents who have gender variant children.
Development of Gender
Harriet Tenenbaum (Kingston University, UK) and I are working on how children acquire notions of gender, and how these ideas develop across childhood. We’ve just published our first paper on the project in the British Journal of Psychology.
Genderism and Transphobia
Brian Willoughby (Harvard Medical School) and I developed a scale to assess prejudice and hatred of extreme gender non-conformity called the “Genderism and Transphobia Scale.” The original was published in Sex Roles. A follow-up study on anti-trans prejudice, along with international and US collaborators, examined cultural and population variations in genderism and transphobia. It was published in the International Journal of Transgenderism.
Gender and Sexuality
I’m interested in how gender influences our sexual self schema (how we think of ourselves as a sexual person). I’ve explored gender differences in how we think about ourselves as sexual beings in a paper in the Journal of Sex Research. Now I’m looking at changes in sexual self schemas across the lifespan in women and men.
Philosophy and Theory of Psychology
I co-edited a book with Michael Kral, “About Psychology: Essays at the Crossroads of History, Theory, and Philosophy”. It is a collection of essays on the pleasures and obstacles involved in the history, theory, and philosophy of psychology.
I’m also interested in the theory/practice problem in applied social psychology. I published a paper in Theory and Psychology on this issue, and an earlier paper in the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.