A Rasmussen Reports poll, released Tuesday, shows that a slim majority — 51% — of Americans oppose allowing male-to-female transgender athletes to compete in women’s sporting events.
A mere 29% of Americans support “allowing transgender students to participate on the sports teams of the gender they identify with” without question, according to the Washington Examiner. Some 20% of individuals polled are currently “undecided” on the issue — a number unchanged from the same poll when it was taken over the summer.
In fact, the poll shows little movement at all on the issue. Back in June, 28% of Americans supported allowing transgender students to participate on the sports team of their choice, meaning there’s been a mere 1% increase in support in a quarter year, despite increased efforts by transgender activits to normalize the practice.
“The results of the poll, taken Oct. 31-Nov. 2, were virtually identical to a Rasmussen survey released in June,” the Washington Examiner points out. That survey “found only 28% favored allowing transgender students ‘to participate on the sports team of the gender they identify with,’ while 54% were opposed.”
The Examiner reports that, while support for transgender rights has increased over the past several years, the support has surrounded mostly increasing public accommodation — that is, allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice and serve in some capacity in the United States armed forces.
“Public opinion on the sports issue comes in contrast to polls showing increasing support for transgender rights. A PRRI survey released in June that found 62% of Americans surveyed were more supportive of transgender rights in the last five years,” the Examiner says. “A Gallup poll taken May 15-30 found 71% of U.S. adults supported openly transgender people serving in the military, while those surveyed remained split on the bathroom issue, with 51% supporting transgender people using the public facilities that correspond to birth gender versus 44% who favored gender identity.”
The issue of sport is a bit stickier, because it tends to divide progressives alongside average Americans. Women’s rights activists have long fought for female athletes to gain access to sports programs at the same level as male athletes — and for institutions to fund women’s sports accordingly. LGBT activists have fought to gain recognition for same-sex partnerships and expand the public visibility of LGBT lifestyles.
Transgender athletes threaten both achievements. Few, if any, female-to-male transgender individuals are looking to compete in men’s sports; it’s almost uniformly male-to-female transgender individuals, who then gain an unfair advantage over biologically female competitors, who are born with certain physiological differences. The reasons women want to compete against other women, specifically, all involve a literal level playing field.
In the UK, the issue of transgender acceptance has met with hostility from “TERFs” or “trans-exclusive radical feminists” who say pushing transgender and other gender-related issues “erases” the female gender altogether. TERFs in the UK — and even in Canada — are at war with transgender activists and modern progressives, who want more “fluid” and less scientific approaches to gender and gender separation.
The issue is still rather marginal in the United States, though Democrats in Congress brought it to the forefront recently by passing an “Equality Act” supporting transgender individuals who want to compete in gender-segregated leagues in line with their gender “identity” rather than their biological gender.
Democrats like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) insist, as transgender activists do, that biological differences between the genders is a “myth.”
“The myth that trans women have a ‘direct competitive advantage’ is not supported by medical science, and it continues to stoke fear and violence against one of the most at-risk communities in the world,” Omar said in a statement after voting for the Equality Act.
After several male-to-female transgender athletes bested all of their female competitors in sports like track and field, weightlifting, and cycling, international sports bodies have been forced to contend with the issue of transgender athletes dominating women’s sport.
The International Olympic Committee now demands that athletes show a specific level of low testosterone before competing in women’s gender-segregated events. A high school track and field organization in Connecticut is facing a lawsuit after allowing a male-to-female transgender athlete to compete in a girls event, after a female athlete lost a race to two transgender athletes who failed to make the grade in the boys division of the same sport.
A version of this story appears on the Daily Wire website.