Only 3 in 10 Americans support participation of trans athletes in women’s sports, poll finds

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Topline

According to a new survey by Washington Post-University of Maryland, which comes a week after Louisiana became the 18th state to pass a ban on transgender athletes last week.

Highlights

The poll, which surveyed 1,503 people across the country between May 4 and May 17, found that 55% of Americans don’t think transgender women and girls should be allowed to participate in high school sports.

Nearly 60% of respondents opposed the participation of transgender women and girls in college and professional sports.

Americans were less likely to oppose the participation of transgender women and girls in youth sports, with around a third of respondents saying transgender women and girls should be allowed to compete, while 17% said that they had no opinion.

The poll comes three months after Lia Thomas became the first known transgender athlete to win an NCAA swimming championship, sparking a new debate about transgender women’s participation in sports.

Peg News

About 5% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 identify as transgender or non-binary, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last week, the largest of any age group. Some 1.6% of respondents aged 30 to 45 said they identify as transgender or non-binary and 0.3% of respondents aged 50 or over.

Key Context

The poll comes as a host of Republican-led legislatures have proposed or enacted legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, including Louisiana, which became the 18th state to pass a ban on anti-trans sports last week. The state banned transgender women and girls from participating in sports at the elementary, secondary and college levels after the Democratic governor of Louisiana decided not to veto or approve the legislation (any proposed bill passed by the Louisiana Legislature becomes law at the end of the session if the governor does not sign or veto it). Other states that have enacted similar bans include Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Kentucky. In total, about 0.6% of Americans identify as transgender, according to Pew, while a growing share of Americans – 44% – say they know someone who is trans. The debate over transgender Americans’ participation in sports has largely focused on transgender women, who critics say have an unfair physical advantage over cisgender women due to traits such as testosterone production. Proponents of the participation of transgender women and girls in sports claim that trans athletes have different athletic abilities, just like cisgender athletes.

Large number

549. That’s the number of ranking spots Thomas rose in the 200-yard freestyle event after moving from the NCAA Men’s Division, where she competed for three years, to the Women’s Division for the season. 2021-2022. Thomas finished tied for fifth in the 2022 NCAA Women’s Championship 200-yard freestyle. She previously ranked 554th in the 2018-19 season when competing for the men’s team. In January, the NCAA changed its rules to allow individual sports to determine whether transgender athletes can compete. In February, 16 of Thomas’ teammates signed a letter not supporting his right to compete, while more than 300 professional college swimmers signed a retaliatory letter in March supporting Thomas. In her first on-camera interview since becoming a central figure in the transgender athlete debate in May, Thomas said trans people “don’t transition to athletics, we transition to be happy. “.

Further reading

Most Americans oppose trans athletes in women’s sports, poll finds (Washington Post)

About 5% of young American adults are transgender or non-binary, survey finds (Forbes)

‘We Transition To Be Happy’: Lia Thomas fends off critics of transgender athletes (Forbes)

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