The poll, conducted May 1-24 among 1,011 individuals nationwide, asked Americans what they thought about gender transition and the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports, comparing statistics from 2021 and this year.
According to Gallup, 55% of Americans say changing one’s gender is “morally wrong,” an increase from 51% two years prior. In 2021, 46% said it was “morally acceptable” compared to 43% in 2023.
Additionally, 62% of Americans in 2021 believed transgender women should not participate in female sports. This year, 69% said transgender athletes should be restricted to “teams that match their birth gender.” Two years ago, 34% of people said transgender athletes should compete based on gender identity, whereas 26% said the same in the 2023 poll.
Conversations about the topic have risen as now more than 20 states have banned transgender participation in sports or passed legislature restricting transgender transition care.
Additionally, the Republican-led House passed a national ban on transgender women's participation in female sports in April of this year.
Conservative women like former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines have advocated for legislation to prohibit biological males from competing in sports against women. Gaines joined the movement after competing against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.
Earlier this year when Thomas was promoted on ESPN during Women’s History Month, Gaines tweeted, “Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title. He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman.”
A former teammate of Thomas, Paula Scanlan, went public last week about her experience on a team with Thomas, saying that she was ready to join Gaines in "fighting for women and girls across the country."