A majority of Americans reject the idea that a person’s gender can be different from their sex at birth, according to a poll conducted Nov. 10 – Dec. 1 by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Among adults, 57% believed gender was determined by sex at birth and 43% believed gender could be different from one’s sex at birth, the poll found. Respondents rejected other talking points promoted by transgender activists, widely opposing hormones for minors, participation in sports based on gender identity and teaching gender identity to young children.
“At first I was on the side of acceptance, like using the pronouns and stuff, because I want people to be kind to each other. I don’t want people fighting all the time,” Alyssa Wells, a 29-year-old behavior therapist and survey participant, told the Post. “My concern with transgender is mostly with the children.”
“We can’t vote until we’re a certain age, we can’t smoke, drink or whatever, but we can change our bodies’ anatomy and how it works? It just doesn’t seem like that’s okay to me.”
Most respondents, however, said they supported legislation banning discrimination against transgender people, with support ranging from 65% to 71% , in housing, medicine, health insurance, work, education and other areas.
Participants widely supported “gender-affirming” counseling for minors but opposed minors receiving hormonal treatments under medical supervision, according to the survey. Among adults, 68% opposed puberty blockers for children 10-14 and 58% opposed hormones for children aged 15-17, while 62% and 66% respectively supported “gender-affirming” counseling for those age groups.
Most respondents also opposed teachers discussing gender identity in the classroom, with 77% opposing it from kindergarten to third grade, 70% for fourth and fifth grade and 52% for middle school. Only 36% opposed such lessons for high schoolers, and 64% supported the lessons.
“Is that going to help these young people get a good job or a good spouse?” Valarie Johnson, a 67-year-old from Florida, told the Post. “Why would you introduce that subject to children when it has no life skills?”
The vast majority of respondents, between 62% and 66%, believed males who identify as transgender girls and women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports at youth, high school, college and professional levels, the poll found.
“I think there is an advantage [for trans women], and you can’t put your head in the sand and pretend there isn’t,” Americo Lopes, told the Post, comparing transgender athletes to those who use steroids. “There is an advantage.”
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