The following is from Gallup News.
- Opposition to transgender athletes on teams matching gender identity rises
- 39% say they know someone who is transgender, up from 31% in 2021
- Majority still say changing one’s gender is morally wrong
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A larger majority of Americans now (69%) than in 2021 (62%) say transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender.
Likewise, fewer endorse transgender athletes being able to play on teams that match their current gender identity, 26%, down from 34%.
These results are based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 1-24.
The issue has sparked debate at all levels of competitive sports, particularly around transgender women’s ability to play on women’s teams. Sports governing bodies and schools have adopted a range of policies on the issue, some more inclusive of transgender participation than others.
Transgender sports participation has also become a major political flashpoint, and elected officials in conservative-leaning states have enacted laws to ban transgender athletes who were born male from competing against female athletes.
At least 20 U.S. states now have such laws, and the Republican-led U.S. House recently passed a national ban.
The federal ban is unlikely to pass the Senate, and President Joe Biden has promised to veto it. The White House recently released a proposed set of guidelines that would govern decisions surrounding transgender individuals’ participation in gender-segregated sports.
The shift toward greater public opposition to transgender athletes competing on the basis of their current gender identity has occurred at the same time that more U.S. adults say they know a transgender person.
Thirty-nine percent of Americans, up from 31% in 2021, say someone they know personally has told them they are transgender.
But both Americans who know and do not know a transgender individual have become less supportive of allowing transgender athletes to play on the team of their choice.
Currently, 30% of those who know a transgender person favor allowing athletes to play on teams that match their current gender identity, down from 40% in 2021. Among those who do not know a transgender person, support is now 23%, down from 31%.
Majority Say Changing One’s Gender Is Morally Wrong
The survey also asked about Americans’ more general views on being transgender. A majority, 55%, consider “changing one’s gender” to be more “morally wrong,” while 43% say it is “morally acceptable.”
Those results are slightly less accepting than in 2021, when Gallup last asked the question -- 51% thought changing one’s gender was morally wrong, and 46% morally acceptable.
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