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New Poll Shows Americans’ Thoughts on Transgender Athletes Competing Against Women

AP Photo/John Bazemore

This week, USA Powerlifting made headlines for losing a discrimination lawsuit against a transgender athlete. Now, male-bodied athletes who claim to identify as women must be allowed to compete against females. 

Polls in recent months have shown that the majority of Americans oppose allowing biological males who identify as “transgender” to compete in women’s sports, including at the college and professional level. 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 – believe in separating sports by biological sex. A separate poll published 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. 

A recent poll conducted by Summit Ministries and McLaughlin and Associates showed that the majority of Americans believe that transgender athletes are harming women’s sports. In the findings, 60 percent of respondents said that the Biden administration’s recent Title IX changes that allow “sex” to include “gender identity” and allow transgender athletes to compete against women has had a “harmful impact to women’s sports and biological female athletes.” 

In the findings, 18 percent of respondents said these policies have been “helpful” to female athletes, while 22 percent of respondents refused to answer. Among those who gave a response, 77 percent said Biden’s Title IX policies are “harmful,” while 23 percent believe these policies are “helpful.”

“Corporate and government elites are trying to have it both ways. They say they support women, yet they refuse to say what a woman actually is and are pursuing policies that cause harm to women. In a very short period of time a coordinated effort between the transgender industry, which profits from exploiting children and teens, and its allies in government have created a catastrophe for America’s girls and women, and it is only going to get worse,” Dr. Jeff Myers, president of Summit, said in a press release. “Americans see this with absolute clarity and want it to stop.”

A new piece of legislation, the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023,” which was introduced by Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R) and Florida Rep. Greg Steube’s (R), would strengthen Title IX protections to ensure that biological males who identify as women are not allowed to compete in women’s sports. 

“Throughout my coaching career, I saw the incomparable success of Title IX and the educational and personal opportunities sports have provided to millions of female athletes. For more than 50 years, this law has empowered young women to grow personally, compete professionally, and receive scholarships to further their education,” Sen. Tuberville told Townhall of the legislation.

“The positive impacts of a fair playing field in women’s sports are unmatched, but the Biden administration is forcing female athletes to the sidelines by allowing biological males to compete where they do not belong,” he continued. “It’s unfair, it’s unsafe, and it’s wrong."

The day the legislation was introduced, Townhall spoke to Riley Gaines, a former swimmer for the University of Kentucky who competed against biological male “transgender” swimmer Will “Lia” Thomas at the NCAA swimming championships last year. Gaines and Thomas tied, but Thomas got to take the trophy home.

“Within the past year, in terms of progress, there has not been a clear solution to the problem [of transgender athletes] at hand. There has still been an influx of biological men competing in women’s sports,” Gaines, who is a spokeswoman at the Independent Women’s Forum, told Townhall. "I think the Lia Thomas situation, bringing this to the national stage, opened a door. People see an opportunity when they see this, and they’re willing to take advantage of it. At the expense of, of course, female athletes.”

“If this continues, it’s a slippery slope. It’s truly only a matter of time before one transgender athlete winning a national title in the women’s category becomes three and five and 10 and so on,” Gaines explained. “I think truthfully it will become…the integrity of women’s sports will be lost.” 

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