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Poll: How Many Americans View Transgenderism As A Mental Illness?

A recent YouGov poll asked over 2,000 Americans their thoughts on transgenderism, or gender dysphoria, the belief that you’re a different gender than that of your biological sex. Twenty-one percent of those polled considered transgenderism a “mental illness” and 39% thought of it was a “choice.”

The YouGov polling, oddly enough, lays out their results by invoking RuPaul’s Drag Race, a television show about drag competitions that recently featured a trans person. “Despite” this allegedly progressive show, notes YouGov, over 20 percent of Americans still have the audacity to view transgenderism, a mental illness, as a mental illness:

RuPaul’s Drag Race has remained a beacon for LGBTQA+ rights throughout its nine seasons on air. This year, the show included its first openly transgender contestant – the lovely Peppermint – who, upon discussing her gender identity with her fellow Drag Racers, was met with love and support. This heartwarming moment, which aired Friday, comes in the midst of political turbulence in regards to, as well as violence towards, the trans community at large.

Despite attempts made by select celebrities and the media to promote understanding of marginalized individuals, a recent YouGov survey found that 21% of Americans think that identifying as transgender is a form of mental illness, and 39% believe that being transgender is a choice.

But that number, 21%, is remarkably small. As noted by HotAir’s Jazz Shaw, there is no biological or medical evidence whatsoever to prove transgenderism is genetic or anything other than a mental illness. Believing you are a different gender than that of your biological sex, he argues, is akin to believing you’re a werewolf (a condition called lycanthropy) or a zombie (Cotard’s syndrome):

If you found a person who was absolutely and utterly convinced that they were a werewolf, absent any and all scientific proof that they were anything other than a standard issue human being, would you describe them as having a mental illness? The medical community does and it’s a condition known as clinical lycanthropy. Similarly, if you encountered someone who insisted that they were actually dead but still walking around like a zombie for some reason, despite every available medical test showing that they were clearly alive, you might think that something had gone seriously wrong in their mental wiring as well. Doctors would agree with you and they refer to that condition as Cotard’s Syndrome or Cotard’s Delusion. Why then, if you meet someone who would pass any possible scientific test of their physical anatomy and genetic code showing them to be one of the two established genders of human beings, would you blandly accept that they are the opposite based on their belief?

The polling also showed some unsurprising results. An overwhelming majority of Americans would not consider having an intimate relationship with a trans person:

YouGov also focused on millennials, who have clearly been strongly influenced by the transgender narrative: “14% of millennials have felt that their gender identity differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth – this is double the number of those 35-54 who have ever felt this way (7%).”

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