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Large Majority of Americans Believe Transgender Athletes Should Have to Compete on Teams Matching Their Biological Sex

Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe that transgender athletes should have to compete on teams matching their biological sex.

Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey additionally found that a 55 percent majority of Americans believe changing genders is “morally wrong.”

“A larger majority of Americans now (69%) than in 2021 (62%) say transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender,” the pollsters report. “Likewise, fewer endorse transgender athletes being able to play on teams that match their current gender identity, 26%, down from 34%.”

Support for transgender issues has steadily declined since 2021 after transgender swimmer Lia Thomas brutally defeated female swimmers in the 2022 NCAA Division I national championship and sparked a national debate.

At least 20 states now have laws preventing biological males from competing against women and girls, and more have legislation in the works.

“The shift toward greater public opposition to transgender athletes competing on the basis of their current gender identity has occurred at the same time that more U.S. adults say they know a transgender person,” the pollsters noted. “Thirty-nine percent of Americans, up from 31% in 2021, say someone they know personally has told them they are transgender.”

Gallup found that “both Americans who know and do not know a transgender individual have become less supportive of allowing transgender athletes to play on the team of their choice. Currently, 30% of those who know a transgender person favor allowing athletes to play on teams that match their current gender identity, down from 40% in 2021. Among those who do not know a transgender person, support is now 23%, down from 31%.”

Surprisingly, the pollsters found that Democrats and Independents are also less supportive of allowing transgender people to choose to play on teams matching their “gender identity.”

Republicans, Democrats and independents are all modestly less supportive of transgender athletes playing on current gender identity teams today than two years ago. The result of these changes is that Democrats are now divided on allowing transgender athletes to play on either male or female teams, while in 2021 more were in favor than opposed. Large majorities of independents (67%) and Republicans (93%) remain opposed to giving transgender athletes a choice of competing on male or female teams.

“Although Democrats are currently divided on the issue, they do rank among the groups most in favor of allowing transgender athletes to play on the team that corresponds to their current gender identity,” Gallup reports. “Political liberals are the lone major subgroup showing majority (57%) support for allowing transgender athletes to choose which team to play on.”

When it comes to the morality of transgenderism, Gallup reports, “As with many issues that touch on morality, there are wide differences of opinion between younger and older adults. Sixty percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say changing one’s gender is morally acceptable. Among those aged 30 to 49, 48% say it is morally acceptable and 50% say morally wrong. But among Americans aged 50 and older, less than one-third of Americans, 32%, believe it is OK morally for a person to change their gender.”

Overall, 55%, consider “changing one’s gender” to be more “morally wrong,” while 43% say it is “morally acceptable.”

The survey was conducted from May 1 to May 24 via telephone interviews with roughly 1,000 U.S. adults.

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