Public views on trans rights and gender identity differ

mMost Americans support policies that protect people who identify as transgender from discrimination. Most Americans also believe that transgender people should be allowed to use the bathroom that reflects their gender identity. But a growing majority of Americans believe that whether a person is male or female is determined by the gender they were given at birth, according to a new study.

Attitudes to gender are at a curious crossroads. At the same time that most Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center support a range of policies to protect transgender rights, 60% do not believe that a person’s gender can differ from the gender assigned at birth. to the May 2022 poll of 10,188 U.S. adults. And that opinion is growing in popularity, compared to 56% when the same question was asked in a survey last year.

The study authors from Pew, an impartial, non-advocacy polling and social science research firm, say the rise in the number of people who believe gender is the same as gender given at birth was not led by a particular group. . † “Certainly, Republicans are more likely to say that than Democrats,” said Anna Brown, a research associate at Pew and one of the study’s co-authors. “But it has increased among both Republicans and Democrats.” The respondents who previously believed that gender and gender were indivisible included those over the age of 50 and those with a high school education or lower. When broken down by race, black respondents were also more likely than other races to agree that gender and gender were the same.

But even among those who hold that opinion, there is a diversity of opinion about what rights transgender people should be accorded. “There are many different nuanced views within that group,” Brown says. “Half of the adults in this group say they support laws that protect transgender people from discrimination. About one in four say forms and online profiles should contain options other than men or women.”

The report suggests that U.S. views on policies affecting transgender people are also complex. More than half of respondents support rules that require trans athletes to compete in teams that match the gender they were given at birth. But a majority also believes that public primary schools should be allowed to teach gender identity. Nearly half of American adults say it’s important to use the new name of a person who has switched, but only about a third say the same about using their new pronouns.

The study also suggests that public opinion on trans rights may be becoming less progressive — at least for now “The share [of people] saying society has gone too far in accepting transgender people has grown since 2017,” notes Brown. On the other hand, young people are more likely to believe that sex and gender at birth are not intrinsically linked; half of the young people under the age of 30 hold this view. “Adults 65 and older are the most likely to say that attitudes about these issues are changing too quickly,” Brown says, “while those under 30 are most likely to say they don’t actually change fast enough.” Younger Democrats accept more gender identities than older Democrats, but age makes less of a difference between Republicans.

There was, however, some unity of opinion. Both groups, regardless of what they believed about the link between the sex they were assigned at birth and gender, said the main factor influencing their beliefs was science.

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