4 in 10 Americans Say Gender Is Not Determined at Birth: Survey

(Photo: REUTERS/Kamil Krzacznski)Demonstrators hold signs during "Stand Up for Transgender Rights" event to show their support for transgender equality, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. February 25, 2017.

A new survey shows that 44 percent of Americans say a person's gender is not determined at birth and that a person can be a man or a woman regardless of the "sex they were assigned at birth." 

Pew Research Center conducted a survey in August and September and, based on 4,573 responses, found that Americans are deeply divided when it comes to transgender issues. A majority of Republicans and those who lean Republican (80 percent) say whether someone is a man or a woman is "determined by sex at birth." Only 34 percent of Democrats and those who lean Democrat agree.

Millennials are least likely, among other generations, to agree with the statement that one's gender is determined by sex at birth, with less than half (49 percent) saying so.

About a third (32 percent) of Americans believe society has gone too far in accepting people who are transgender, while 39 percent say society has not gone far enough and 27 percent say it has been about right.

Sixty percent of Democrats say society hasn't gone far enough, while only 12 percent of Republicans agree. On the other hand, 57 percent of GOP supporters say society has gone too far, compared with 12 percent of Democrats.

Those who personally know transgender people are more likely to say that they need more acceptance in society. 

Overall, 37 percent of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender. Millennials are the most likely to say they know a transgender person, with 44 percent saying so.

Transgender debates have spilled across multiple areas of American life, from politics and media to sports and schools.

Democrat Danica Roem became on Tuesday the first openly transgender member of the Virginia House of Delegates, defeating incumbent Republican Bob Marshall.

Recently, a public school health teacher in New York was recently placed on administrative leave after allowing an LGBT activist group to hand out "gender identity" packets to 11-year-old students, teaching them about transgenderism and gender reassignment procedures.

"I understand that we live in a [divisive] world and everyone has got their thing and not everyone is going to be the same, but we come with our Christian values and we live by our own expectations," said parent Sirell Fiel, whose 11-year-old son was given the handout.

"When it comes to teaching our kids certain things, that should be left up to us, not the school districts, not health class in seventh grade."

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