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Poll Finds Most Americans Oppose Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sports

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Most Americans oppose allowing biological male “transgender” athletes to compete against biological women at the professional, college and high school level, a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found.


The poll findings show that 55 percent of Americans oppose allowing transgender women and girls to compete with biological women and girls at the high school level. Fifty-eight percent of Americans oppose allowing transgender women and girls to compete in women’s sports at the college and professional level.

On the other hand, about 3 in 10 Americans said transgender women and girls should be allowed to compete at each of those levels. Fifteen percent did not offer an opinion on the subject.

As for youth sports, 33 percent of Americans said that transgender girls should be allowed to compete in girls’ youth sports. Forty-nine percent disagree. Seventeen percent did not offer an opinion on the subject.

“The poll was taken as an increasing portion of Americans, particularly younger ones, identify as transgender and the issue of whether transgender females should compete against cisgender women and girls has become a point of social and political debate,” The Washington Post’s write up stated.

The poll asked respondents follow-up questions regarding transgender women competing in women’s sports. 


Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said that transgender girls would have a competitive advantage over biological girls in sports. Two percent said biological girls would have a competitive advantage over transgender girls. Thirty percent said neither would have an advantage.

“If transgender girls are not allowed to compete with other girls in youth sports, how concerned are you that the mental health of transgender girls will suffer?” another follow-up question asked.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said they were concerned about the mental health of transgender girls now allowed to compete in women’s sports. Forty-eight percent percent said they were not concerned about it.

Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated that they are the parent or guardian of a child. Two percent of the respondents who indicated they are parents said they have a transgender child. One percent said they have a non-binary child. One percent said they have a “gender nonconforming” child.

Townhall reported this week how a new study claimed that 1.6 million people in the United States ages 13 and older identify as “transgender.” This included 300,000 people ages 13-17. Several states, such as Louisiana this month, have passed legislation prohibiting transgender women from women and girls’ sports. 


The debate over transgender women competing in women sports was put in the spotlight this year after biological male swimmer Will “Lia” Thomas competed on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania and won races against biological women. Thomas competed on the men’s swim team at UPenn for several years before joining the women’s team.

Other states to pass legislation barring biological males from women’s sports include South Carolina Oklahoma Iowa and Arizona

WaPo’s poll was conducted from May 4 through May 17 and surveyed 1,503 people. 

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