Only 3 out of 10 Americans support the participation of trans athletes in women’s sports, according to a poll

Top line

Only about 3 in 10 Americans believe that transgender women and girls should have the right to participate in women’s sports, according to a new study by Washington Post– The University of Maryland, which comes a week after Louisiana became the 18th state to pass a ban on transgender athletes last week.

Key facts

The survey, which surveyed 1,503 people across the country between May 4 and 17, found that 55 percent of Americans do not believe that transgender women and girls should be allowed to compete in high school sports.

Almost 60% of respondents are against the participation of transgender women and girls in college and professional sports.

Americans are less likely to oppose the participation of transgender women and girls in youth sports, with about a third of respondents saying that transgender women and girls should have the right to compete, while 17% say they have no opinion.

The poll comes three months after Leah Thomas became the first known transgender athlete to win the NCAA Swimming Championships, sparking a renewed debate over the participation of transgender women in the sport.

Peg News

About 5 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 identify as transgender or non-binary, according to a Pew Research Center study published last week, the largest of any age group. About 1.6% of respondents aged 30 to 45 said they identified as transsexual or non-binary, and 0.3% of respondents aged 50 or over.

Key background

The poll comes after a number of Republican-led lawmakers proposed or passed legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, including Louisiana, which became the 18th state to pass a ban on sports against transgender people last week. The state has banned transgender women and girls from competing in sports at elementary and high school and college after the Democratic governor of Louisiana decided not to veto or approve legislation (any bill passed by the Louisiana legislature, becomes law at the end of the session if the governor does not sign it or veto it). Other states that have passed similar bans include Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Kentucky. In total, about 0.6 percent of Americans identify as transsexual, according to Pew, while a growing proportion of Americans – 44 percent – say they know someone who is trans. The debate over the participation of transgender Americans in sports has largely focused on transgender women, who critics say have an unfair physical advantage over cisgender women because of traits such as testosterone production. Proponents of transgender women and girls say the transatlees differ in athletic ability, just as gender athletes do.

Big number

549. That’s how many places Thomas has risen in the 200-yard freestyle race after moving from the men’s division of the NCAA, where she competed for three years, to the women’s division for the 2021-2022 season. Thomas tied for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle in the NCAA Women’s 2022 Championship. She previously ranked 554th in the 2018-2019 season when she competed for the men’s team. In January, the NCAA changed its rules to allow individual sports to determine whether transgender athletes could compete. In February, 16 of Thomas’ teammates signed a letter disapproving of her right to compete, while more than 300 college professional swimmers signed a response letter in March in support of Thomas. In his first camera interview since becoming a central figure in the debate on transgender athletes in May, Thomas said that trans people “don’t switch to athletics, we switch to be happy.”

More information

Most Americans oppose trans athletes in women’s sports, according to a poll (Washington Post)

About 5% of young adults in the United States are transgender or non-binary, according to a study (Forbes)

“We pass to be happy”: Leah Thomas repels transgender athletes (Forbes)

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