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New Poll Shows Americans’ Views on Transgender Athletes

AP Photo/Josh Reynolds

In June, Townhall reported how a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that the majority of Americans – 55 percent – opposed allowing biological males who identify as women to compete in women’s sports at the college and professional level. The poll was taken at a time when “the issue of whether transgender females should compete against cisgender women and girls has become a point of social and political debate,” the poll write-up noted.

A new poll published Thursday by Pew Research found that 58 percent of Americans favor requirements for transgender athletes to compete on sports teams that align with their biological sex. In addition, 41 percent of respondents said they favor requiring transgender individuals to use public restrooms that match their biological sex rather than their “gender identity.” 

Matt covered earlier this year how members of the UPenn women’s swim team felt uncomfortable sharing the locker room with Will “Lia” Thomas, a transgender “woman” who is a biological male and competed on the women’s team.

An anonymous teammate told Daily Mail in an interview that Thomas “still has male body parts and is still attracted to women.” The swimmer added that other members of the team spoke to the team’s coaches about the issue, but the discussions did not go anywhere.

“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” the anonymous swimmer told Daily Mail. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

In addition, Thomas competed against female athletes and took home an NCAA Division I title at the swimming championships in March.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents in the Pew poll said that they support investigation parents for child abuse if they help a minor get “gender-affirming” health care to transition. This year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched these kinds of investigations into the parents of transgender minors. In an interview with Townhall, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton explained how this type of treatment is illegal for minors.

"Here, the answer is clear regarding so-called sex-change procedures, puberty blockers, and hormone therapies. When performed on children, these procedures are 'abuse' under Texas law. They’re illegal. And family courts, family-law government agencies, and the like must do their part to stop it," Paxton said. 

Forty-four percent of respondents said they oppose requiring health insurance companies to cover the cost of medical care for gender transitions. Forty-one percent said they support making it illegal for public school districts to teach about gender identity in elementary schools.

Overall, only 8 percent of Americans say they are following news about bills recently proposed by several states related to people who are transgender either extremely or very closely. About two-thirds (68%) say they are following news about these bills a little or not at all closely.

Pew Research’s poll was conducted May 16-22 among 10,188 adults. 

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