A new Gallup poll reveals that a supermajority of Americans oppose allowing boys who identify as female to compete in girls' sports.
The poll, released last week and conducted between May 3–18, assessed 1,016 American adults’ views about transgender-related issues. The survey had a margin of error of 5 percentage points. One question asked the respondents if “transgender athletes should be able to play on sports teams that match their current gender identity (or) should only be allowed to play on sports teams that match their biological gender.”
Just 34% of Americans believed that trans-identified athletes should be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond to their gender identity. Support was highest among self-described liberals (63%), Democrats (55%), women (43%) and college graduates (40%).
Meanwhile, 62% of Americans expressed support for requiring trans-identified athletes to play on the team that matches their biological sex. Support was highest among Republicans (86%), self-described conservatives (85%) and males (72%).
The release of the Gallup survey comes as several states have worked to pass legislation requiring student athletes to compete in sports that correspond with their biological sex. This week, Florida became the most recent and most populous state to enact a law banning boys who identify as female from competing in girls' sports.
According to the Women’s Liberation Front, an organization that supports such legislation, seven additional states have enacted bills designed to prevent female athletes from having to compete against biological males who have inherent physiological advantages over them: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee and West Virginia. State legislators in more than two dozen other states have introduced similar bills that are still pending.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, congressional Democrats are pushing for the passage of the Equality Act, a legislative initiative billed as a necessary measure to enshrine protections for the LGBT community into law. Critics of the legislation on both sides of the aisle warn that its provision preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity will require allowing athletes to compete on teams that correspond with their gender identity.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Beth Stelzer of the grassroots organization Save Women’s Sports, warned that with the passage of the Equality Act, “women’s sports will fade away” because “it will not take long until all of the records will be held by males.”
While a majority of Americans were lukewarm to the idea of allowing boys to compete in girls' sports, allowing transgenders to serve openly in the military registered much stronger support. Overall, 66% of Americans said that they had no problem with the idea.
Although the support for letting transgenders serve in the military was substantial, support has decreased since Gallup last conducted a survey on the matter in 2019. The previous survey found that 71% of Americans supported letting transgender Americans serve in the military. Earlier this year, in the time between the two surveys, President Joe Biden signed an executive order reversing former President Donald Trump’s ban preventing transgender individuals from serving in the military.
In the 2021 survey, the demographic subgroup most supportive of letting transgenders serve in the military was self-described liberals, 92% of whom think that the military should allow transgenders to serve openly. Majorities of self-described moderates (73%) and independents (66%) agreed, as did a large number of self-described conservatives (43%) and Republicans (42%).
Besides conservatives and Republicans, majorities of all other demographic subgroups expressed support for allowing transgender military service. There was a noticeable gender gap, with 57% of men and 74% of women believing that transgenders should be allowed to serve in the military. Support declined with age, registering at 74% among those between the ages of 18 and 34, 66% among those aged 35-54 and 61% among respondents 55 and older.
The Gallup survey also asked people if they knew anyone who identified as transgender. Overall, 31% of respondents answered in the affirmative, with 69% saying that they did not personally know any transgender individuals. Forty-six percent of younger Americans said they knew someone who was transgender compared to just 19% of respondents in the oldest demographic subgroup.
A previous survey conducted in 2019 by Rasmussen found that a smaller majority of Americans (51%) opposed allowing biological males who identified as females to compete in women’s sports. However, support for allowing boys who identify as girls to compete against women has remained mostly flat, registering at only 29% in 2019 compared to 34% in 2021.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org