A Majority of Americans Support Restricting Trans Athletes to Teams That Correspond With Birth Gender


While a shrinking majority of Americans support allowing openly transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. armed forces, fewer believe that transgender athletes should be allowed to play on teams that correspond with their gender identity.

Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs Survey, which was conducted between May 3-18, came weeks after the Department of Defense reversed a Trump-era ban on transgender service in the military.

However, while a solid majority—66%–support trans military service members, this number is down from 2019, when the ban was still in place.

Meanwhile, just 34% of Americans believe that transgender athletes should be allowed to compete against members of the opposite sex on teams that correspond with their gender identity, while a majority (62%) believe they should be restricted to teams that correspond with their birth gender.

“Among party, gender and age subgroups, only Democrats (55%) express majority support for transgender athletes’ ability to play on teams matching their gender identity,” Gallup noted.

Only 12% of conservatives hold this view, while 63% of self-identified liberals do.

It appears that whether or not someone knows a transgender person has some influence their views on policies that impact transgender athletes.

“Those who know someone who is trans (40%) are more likely to say trans athletes should be able to play on a team of their gender identity than are people who do not know someone who is transgender (31%),” Gallup said.

Roughly 31% of Americans say they have a friend, relative, or colleague who is transgender. While “fully half” of adults under 30 say they know a transgender person, this percentage decreases with each preceding generation, with those over 65 being the least likely (19%) to have a transgender person in their lives.

Legislation aimed at restricting women and girls’ sports to biological females have certainly gained in popularity in 2020, with Florida becoming the latest state to put in place such a ban on Tuesday.

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