More Americans now than in 2021 say trans-identifying athletes should have to compete on the team that matches their biological sex, a new Gallup poll shows.
About 69% of Americans say trans-identifying athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that match their biological sex, the Gallup poll, released Monday, found.
In 2021, only 62% of Americans felt that trans-identifying athletes should compete on the team of their biological sex.
Only just over a quarter of Americans, 26%, now support athletes playing on the team of their professed gender identity. Two years ago, that number was over a third of Americans, 34%.
In practice, biological males competing on women’s sports teams has resulted in males winning championship titles over their female competitors.
In 2019, three Connecticut high school girls who ran track filed a federal discrimination lawsuit claiming the state’s policy on trans-identifying athletes has cost them first place spots and potentially college scholarships. The three track athletes have faced legal setbacks, but they are still fighting in federal court.
Trans-identifying college swimmer Lia Thomas competed on the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania before declaring himself transgender in 2019 and starting testosterone blockers and estrogen. In 2021, Thomas competed on the women’s team, sparking a national debate. In March 2022, Thomas won the NCAA Division I national championship after winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle event.
Interestingly, the dip in Americans who say trans-identifying athletes should get to compete on the team matching their gender identity comes at the same time more people say they know a trans-identifying person personally, according to the Gallup poll.
About 39% of Americans say they know someone personally who says they are transgender, up from 31% in 2021.
A huge majority of Republicans, 93%, are opposed to letting a trans-identifying athlete choose which team to play on, male or female. Democrats are split on the issue, with 48% supportive, and 47% against trans-identifying athletes playing on the team of their gender identity. In 2021, Democrats had a more defined majority, 55%, who were supportive. A bigger majority of independents are opposed this year, 67%.
The poll also found that a larger share of Americans, 55%, say it is morally wrong to change one’s gender — up from 51% in 2021.
Over the last two years, conservatives have sounded the alarm on both biological males in women’s sports and medical procedures being performed on trans-identifying children.
Minors who say they identify as a new gender can obtain puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries as part of their gender transition. Hundreds of teen girls in the U.S., some as young as 12, have gotten elective, gender-related double mastectomies to remove their healthy breasts over the last few years. Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.
The poll results are from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, which was conducted from May 1 to 24.