A majority of Americans believe that transgender athletes should participate in competitive sports that match the gender they were born as, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
In Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs Survey, 62 percent of respondents said that transgender athletes should be allowed only on sports teams that match their gender they were born as and 34 percent say they should be able to play on teams that correspond with their gender identity.
Support for transgender athletes to be allowed to play on teams that match their gender identity was highest among Democrats, with 55 percent expressing support and 41 percent opposing.
In comparison, only 10 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents said transgender athletes should be allowed to play on a team that matches their gender identity.
When separated by age, 18-29-year-olds expressed the most support for transgender athletes to choose, but only 35 percent held that view.
The issue has been largely debated in dozens of states and at least five have banned boys who identify as transgender from playing on girls’ sports teams.
In April, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that it “unequivocally” supports transgender athletes.
“The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition,” the NCAA said in a statement.
“Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport. Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them.”
About 0.6 percent of the U.S. population identifies as transgender, according to Gallup.
Gallup reported that about three in 10 Americans, or 31 percent, personally know someone who is transgender.
Exactly 50 percent of adults under 30 have a friend, relative or coworker who is transgender.
This statistic drops significantly in the older populations with 19 percent of adults over 65 saying they know a transgender person.
Despite opposition to transgender athletes competing on teams that correspond with their gender identity, 66 percent of Americans favor allowing transgender men and women to serve in the military.
That number has fallen 5 percentage points from when Gallup last asked the question in 2019.
When split up by political party, Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to favor allowing transgender service members, 87 percent and 43 percent respectively.
Gallup’s poll was based on telephone interviews conducted from May 3-18 of 1,016 adults with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
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