Most Americans oppose men on women's sports teams, drag shows and puberty blockers for kids: poll

A drag queen who goes by the name Xochi Mochi reads a story to children at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in Long Beach, California, on October 14, 2017.
A drag queen who goes by the name Xochi Mochi reads a story to children at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in Long Beach, California, on October 14, 2017. | Twitter/@RealOmarNavarro

A majority of Americans oppose allowing men who identify as trans to compete on women's sports teams and disprove of exposing children to drag shows, a new survey has found. 

The YouGov survey, sponsored by The Economist and conducted from April 8-11, examined the views of 1,500 U.S. adults and asked about a wide variety of public policy matters. One series of questions in the poll sampled public opinion on LGBT-related issues, including the push to prescribe puberty blockers for children who exhibit confusion about their sex.

When asked if trans-identified athletes should be allowed to compete on sports teams based on their chosen sexual identity instead of their biological sex, 15% of Americans said they “strongly support” the idea, while an additional 17% “somewhat support” it. A plurality of those surveyed (43%) “strongly oppose” letting trans-identified athletes compete on sports teams that match their gender identity, while another 12% “somewhat oppose” it, meaning the total opposition added up to 55%. 

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The question about letting trans-identified children play on sports teams that align with their chosen sexual identity comes as 21 states have passed laws requiring athletes to compete on sports teams that correspond with their biological sex: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The state laws reflect concerns that the biological differences between men and women give males a physical advantage over females in athletics, thereby putting women and girls at a disadvantage in competitions with trans-identified males. USA Powerlifting identifies some of the factors that give male athletes an advantage as “increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue.”

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A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in December 2020 found that trans-identified males maintain an advantage over biological females in athletics even after two years of taking feminizing hormones. News of trans-identified males breaking records in women’s sports has led to public outrage and served as a motivating factor behind the effort to pass laws prohibiting trans-identified males from competing on women’s sports teams. 

Another question in the poll asked respondents to share their thoughts about drag shows that feature men dressed as women, also known as drag queens. Half of respondents (50%) agreed with a statement proclaiming that “they should be restricted to people 18 or older.” 

An additional 14% thought “they should be banned” altogether. Just 25% believed “they should be allowed for everyone,” while the remaining 12% marked themselves down as “not sure.”

Protests against allowing drag queens to provocatively dance in sexually suggestive ways for and on children have made international headlines in recent years. Opponents say these performances are not age appropriate and expose children to overtly sexual acts and promote gender confusion. 

Additionally, the survey asked respondents for their views about “allowing parents to provide their ... children or teenagers with puberty-blocking drugs, which can ... prevent ... puberty ...” A plurality of those surveyed (39%) “strongly oppose” letting parents give their children puberty blockers as an additional 14% “somewhat oppose” it. Fourteen percent of Americans “somewhat support” allowing parents to give their children puberty blockers and 18% “strongly support” the idea.

The question about puberty blockers comes as more than a dozen states have passed laws prohibiting minors from obtaining some or all of what supporters refer to “gender-affirming care,” including puberty-blocking drugs: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. The bans on body-mutilating sex change procedures, such as chemical and surgical castration, come in response to concerns about their long-term effects.

The American College of Pediatricians lists potential side effects of puberty blockers as “osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility.” Cross-sex hormones, also frequently prescribed to youth suffering from gender dysphoria, can lead to “an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.”

Body-mutilating surgeries leave behind unsightly scars that form following the removal of healthy breast tissue from girls and the removal of forearm skin and tissue to craft a fake penis that is flaccid and cannot function. As illustrated in a lawsuit filed by detransitioner Chloe Cole, these surgeries can also lead to suicidal ideation and a deteriorating state of mental health. 

One question asked if K-12 schools should be required to “inform parents if their child requests to go by different pronouns while at school,” meaning that the child wishes to be addressed by pronouns that do not correspond with their biological sex, revealed that 39% “strongly support” requirements to inform parents about such situations and 21% “somewhat support” it. Ten percent “somewhat oppose” mandating schools to keep parents abreast about their child’s chosen sexual identity, while 16% “strongly oppose” such policies.

In recent years, public school districts have found themselves subject to legal action for referring to students by their chosen names and chosen pronouns at school while addressing them by their legal name and actual pronouns in correspondence with parents.

In a previous interview with The Christian Post, a mother who filed a lawsuit against school officials in Leon County, Florida, accused them of “colluding with my daughter to deceive us so that we would have never known she was going by an alternate name.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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