Polls Show Growing Rejection of Transgenderism

People rally in support of the Netflix transgender walkout in Los Angeles, California on O
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Shifting poll numbers and the GOP win in Virginia show Americans are increasingly rejecting the radical and intrusive agenda pushed by the transgender groups and their progressive allies, say critics of the transgender ideology.

“Glenn Youngkin’s victory on Tuesday showed that voters, and especially parents, are waking up to the horrendous consequences of the woke left’s gender ideology,” said a statement from the American Principles Project. The ideology “threatens the privacy and safety of girls in school, so it should be no surprise to see opinions shifting in polling on these issues as well,” the group added.

The shift is detailed by a September poll from the pro-transgender Public Religion Research Institute. The group’s poll shows a steep three-year drop in support for boys playing in girls’ sports, and for the ideology’s claim that people’s sense of personal “gender” is unconnected to their biological sex.

“One-third of Americans (36%) believe that these [male] students should be allowed to participate in [female] sporting events,” according to the survey of 5,415 adults, which got very little press coverage. That is a one-third drop from 2018 when 50 percent of Americans said they were okay with male transgenders playing in girls’ sports.

More fundamentally, the poll showed a two-year, one-third drop in the share of people who believe there are additional genders than male and female. In 2021, only 17 percent of Americans strongly believe there are multiple “genders,” down from 24 percent in 2019.

The polling shift is moving politics.

For example, many state GOP politicians have moved to protect single-sex sports in many states.

Even federal GOP politicians have begun arguing against “crazy messages” in K-12 schools — as they also try to avoid a backlash from socially liberal donors who want the GOP focused entirely on business priorities.

“Reality is winning,” said Terry Schilling, the president of the American Principles Project.

That is the clear message from this [PRRI] poll. Over the last few years, despite relentless propagandizing from the woke-captured media and entertainment industries, public opinion has shifted toward a rejection of the left’s radical gender ideology. A decisive majority continues to hold to the scientifically grounded view that human beings are fundamentally male and female. This is very encouraging news.

Even more remarkably, there has been a significant growth in opposition to attempts to allow biological males to compete in women’s sports. This is clear proof that politics does indeed have an impact on culture.
Since 2019, American Principles Project has been engaged in an effort to make protecting women’s sports an election issue and spur lawmakers to address it legislatively. And in the last two years, nine states have passed laws to defend female athletes while the issue has become a key component of Republican campaigns. There is no doubt that raising political awareness of the danger to women’s sports posed by the woke agenda has won voters over to our side.
We are winning the argument, and we should aim to press our advantage even further with the electoral winds at our back next year.

Many polls show that the transgender claim is deeply rejected by most Americans — even as it is championed by ambitious progressives who use social diversity to fracture civic society. This ruthless agenda imposes a huge personal cost of near-universal sexual rejection, social isolation, and medical traumas on the few people who try to change their sex.

Generally, transgender advocates claim that a person’s sense of their male-or-female nature — their “gender” — should be culturally and legally more important than the male-or-female nature of their unchangeable biology.

For example, advocates claim that federal law-enforcement agencies must ensure that a man or child who says his or her gender is different from his or her biology should be allowed to use opposite-sex bathrooms. They also demand that law enforcement force other Americans to treat them as the opposite sex in conversations, workplaces, cultural events, and even in sexual activities.

The Supreme Court’s liberal wing — plus one GOP judge — has partially endorsed this new ideology by reinterpreting workplace civil rights law to declare that employers cannot fire people because they oppose transgender claims.

Progressive Democrats have embraced the ideology despite prior support for women’s rights. This party shift has followed their leaders’ insistence that Americans’ coherent society be changed by pro-diversity policies.

But the PPRI survey shows that the divisive ideology is losing ground, despite much friendly coverage in media and Hollywood.

The greatest shift has occurred among Republicans and independents, the poll said:

Support [for ending single-sex sports] has declined drastically among Republicans—by more than two-thirds—since 2018, when 30% supported [transgender] participation. Independent support has declined by one-third, from 46% in 2018, and support among Democrats has declined by 11 percentage points, from 73% in 2018.

Democrats, in contrast, strongly support the elimination of single-sex sports in the name of liberation from all physical or social barriers. For example, 62 percent of Democrats favor allowing boys to play in girls’ games, the report says.

Americans are also more willing to champion the importance of sexual privacy against demands by transgender men for access to women’s bathrooms, changing rooms, and other private spaces. The PRRI survey mischaracterized the pro-privacy policies as “restrictive bathroom policies ” when it reported:

Compared to 2016, support for restrictive bathroom policies is notably higher among Republicans and independents and across a range of demographics, including religious affiliation, race, education, age, and gender. Among partisans, the biggest shift is among Republicans. Republicans have increased 30 percentage points, to 74% support, from 44% in 2016. Independents are also more likely to support this policy today (48%) than they were in 2016 (37%). Democrats have not shifted significantly since 2016 (31% today vs. 27% in 2016).

Other subgroups that show a large increase in support [for sexual privacy] … include Black Americans (45% vs. 28% in 2016), white Americans (49% vs. 33% in 2016), white Americans without college degrees (55% vs. 36% in 2016), Americans over the age of 65 (51% vs. 32% in 2016), Americans ages 50–64 (56% vs. 37% in 2016), men (50% vs. 39% in 2016), and women (44% vs. 31% in 2016). White Americans with college degrees increased in support, but not by as large a margin (39% vs. 31% in 2016).

The public debate is also moving Americans from the “don’t know” undecided column, the report notes: “This uneven shift [towards protections] is mostly due to the significant proportion of Americans who say they are unsure what to think about the issue (12% in 2016, 8% 2019, and 2% in 2021).”

But the poll likely understands public opposition to the aggressive transgender agenda, which now includes increasing demands for lesbians to have sex with men who claim to be women.

For example, the poll’s authors fully accept the transgender language,  likely nudging non-political respondents towards their pro-transgender preferences.

Also, the poll does not explore what Americans will do if the courts continue to use “civil rights” law to dictate the outcome of the transgender debate. The courts’ elite-devised, centrally-directed “civil rights” rules are intended to prevent Americans from balancing their decent sympathy for transgender activists with the fundamental need to recognize the differences and complementarity of men and women, and to protect their children’s character development and health.

In 2019, the PRRI ran a similar poll with funding from pro-transgender groups. That survey was titled “America’s Growing Support for Transgender Rights.”

But the title of PRRI’s 2021 poll is muted: “Most Americans Generally Support Pro-LGBTQ Policies, But Are More Divided Over Specifics Like Transgender Sports and Bathroom Policies.”


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