Only a third of Americans believe that trans athletes should be allowed into teams that match gender identity
Only one-third of Americans believe that transgender athletes should compete on teams that don’t match the gender they were given at birth, a new poll found.
Gallups annual Values and norms survey – conducted May 3-18 via telephone interviews with 1,016 randomly selected adults living in the US – showed that 62 percent said transgender athletes should only play on sports teams that match the gender assigned at birth, while 34 percent said they should be able to play on teams that match their gender identity.
The survey comes because eight states have already banned transgender athletes from playing on the team of the gender they identify with.
It also found that while a majority of Americans support transgender people who serve in the military, support across all age groups and genders has declined significantly over the past two years.
A recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans believe that transgender athletes should compete on teams based on the gender they were given at birth.
In 2019, Gallup reported that 71 percent of Americans supported admitting transgender people into the military, but in the most recent poll, it reported that 66 percent expressed support for the move.
The numbers were higher among Democrats and self-proclaimed liberals, the data shows, with the greatest shift among those politically independent individuals, representing a 12 percent drop in the preference of transgender people in the military.
Those who knew someone who is transgender also previously agreed that transgender people should serve in the military and serve on the teams that match their gender identity.
Gallup researchers explained that the issue of sports policy regarding transgender athletes “is quite new to many Americans, and their views on LGBT issues have changed over time, often in big ways.”
“A significant majority of Americans have consistently expressed support for transgender military service in recent years, while this first measure on sports policy suggests they don’t view the two issues alike.”
Four percent of those surveyed declined to answer their views on transgender people who play sports, as more states pass legislation banning transgender athletes from being part of the team that matches their gender identity.
Alanna Smith is a high school transgender athlete in Connecticut
Lindsay Hecox sues the state of Idaho for banning transgender athletes competing on the team of the gender they identify with
Chris Mosier started competing in triathlon as a woman in 2009, but was identified as a transgender man a year later. In 2015, he earned a spot on the Team USA sprint men’s duathlon team for the 2016 World Cup, becoming the first known trans athlete to join a US national team different from his gender at birth.
Governors in eight states have signed legislation prohibiting transgender students from joining school sports teams according to their gender identity, including Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The majority of these states have only passed these laws in recent months, but Idaho has passed them law, that applies to pupils in both primary and higher education, in 2020.
A temporary injunction is currently blocking enforcement of the law challenged in court by transgender attorney Lindsay Hecox, a transgender woman who wanted to join the Boise State cross-country team.
Eight states, highlighted in orange, have passed legislation prohibiting transgender students from joining school sports teams according to their gender identity
The Mississippi the law states that higher education institutions “must designate teams explicitly as” men, men, boys “;” girls, women, women “or” coed or mixed “based on biological sex, and the Tennessee law says students must provide a birth certificate with their assigned birth when they register for a school sport.
If the birth certificate does not appear legitimate or does not state the child’s gender at birth, the law says, the student must provide “ other evidence ” to indicate their gender, which the parent or guardian must pay for.
The Alabama law, meanwhile, argues that there are “physical differences between biological men and biological women” that “have long made separate and gender-specific sports teams important so that female athletes have an equal opportunity to compete in the sport.”
The lawmakers argue that boys tend to have a larger body size with more skeletal muscle mass and ‘greater maximum release or anaerobic and aerobic energy than biological women.
“ Because of the physical differences, biological men and biological women, having separate athletic teams based on the biological sex of the athletes reduces the likelihood of injury in biological female athletes and promotes equality between men and women. ”
Lawmakers in other states are considering similar bans, but opponents argue the proposals violate Title IX of the federal education law prohibiting sexual discrimination.
The NCAA has determined that transgender individuals can exercise in college on the team they identify with, as long as transgender women receive testosterone suppression treatment, and said in a statement, “ Inclusion and fairness can co-exist for all student athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sports. ‘