Image Credit: Tom Page / CC
The Center Square [By J.J. Brannock] –
Nearly 70% of surveyed Americans say transgender athletes “should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender,” a poll from Gallup published Monday shows.
A study from Gallup published Monday showed that 69% of surveyed Americans said transgender athletes “should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender.”
The poll shows a 7 percentage point rise in Americans who say that transgender athletes should only play on teams that match their birth gender. Notably, it also shows an 11 percentage point increase in those who personally know a transgender person, from 53% in 2021 to 64% in 2023.
The survey comes amid a wave of legislation across red states in recent years separating biologically male and female sports teams. For example, in Missouri recently, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 39, which became law and prohibits any private or public school from allowing any student to compete in an athletic competition “designated for the student’s opposite biological sex.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on May 30 which would widely bar transgender athletes at public universities from competing in sports aligned with their new gender identity. President Joe Biden promised to veto the bill, which is unlikely to pass in the Senate.
According to the poll, Democrats are split on the issue, with 47% of Democrats in favor of trans athletes playing on the teams that match their identity and 48% against. Democrats’ views have shifted since 2021 when 55% were for and 41% were against.
Republicans’ opposition to allowing trans athletes to play on the team of their choice rose from 86% in 2021 to 93% in 2023, with Independents shifting from 63% to 67% over the past two years.
The only subgroup more supportive of gender-matching teams for trans athletes is young adults, who increased in support from 35% to 41%.
The survey also asked about Americans’ general views on whether changing one’s gender was morally acceptable, which saw a smaller and more split vote of 51% saying it was morally wrong in 2021 compared to 55% in 2023.
The question divided the parties, with 84% of Republicans and 29% of Democrats saying it was morally wrong to change gender. Independents were split, with 50% arguing it was wrong and 46% saying it was morally acceptable.