The issue of biological males who identify as females participating in women’s sports has come under increased scrutiny in recent months as more biological males have been allowed to compete against women in various sports across the country — often with high levels of success.
In February, two high school biological males who identify as females made headlines when they took first and second by significant margins in Connecticut’s indoor 55-meter dash state championship, thus bumping two biological females out of the chance to compete at higher levels. Last Friday, RAW Powerlifting Federation stripped multiple women’s championship titles from a biological male who lifted as a female, citing organization rules that are “based on physiological classification rather than identification.”
So how do Americans feel about the issue? Rasmussen recently conducted a poll of 1,004 registered voters and found that by a ratio of more than two-to-one voters disagree with allowing biological males to compete against biological females.
Rasmussen found that while less than a quarter (23%) of respondents believe “a person born as a male but identifying as a female should be allowed to compete in women’s competitive sports events,” over half (56%) felt that they should not. About a fifth (21%) of voters are not sure.
The pollster found that more males are opposed than females, though in both genders far more disagree with allowing biological males who identify as females to compete against women than agree. Two-thirds of men (66%) say they should not, while just 19% say they should; 47% of women disagree, while 26% agree with letting men compete as women.
Voters under 35 are more evenly divided: 44% say males who identify as females should not be allowed to compete against women; 41% say they should. Voters 35 and older are against the idea by more than two-to-one.
A plurality of both Republicans and Democrats are against allowing males to compete against females regardless of identity, though Republicans are far more uniformly against it. Republicans are against the idea 74-12; Democrats are against it 45-32; Independents are against it 53-22.
Rasmussen notes that the survey also found the following:
- 65% believe biological males are generally stronger and more athletic than biological females.
- 63% believe allowing such competition is unfair to athletes born female.
- If biological males who identify as female are allowed to compete in women’s sports, 57% believe they would generally outperform biological females and eventually come to dominate women’s sports.
Rasmussen also cites a poll it conducted in April that found that 63% of voters “believe there are only two genders–male and female”; 37% disagree. The same poll found that 56% of voters believe gender is defined by birth, a third (33%) say it’s defined by self-identity, and 11% are not sure.
“Seventy-two percent (72%) of liberal voters believe gender is a fluid concept,” Rasmussen found. “But 85% of conservatives and 63% of moderates believe there are only two genders. … On a partisan basis, most Democrats (55%) believe gender is a fluid concept. However, 79% of Republicans and 69% of Independents disagree and believe there are only two genders.”
Rasmussen sports survey info: The national survey of 1,004 Registered Voters was conducted April 13-14, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.