Washington, DC – A recent survey by the Pew Research Center revealed a stark divide between Democrats and Republicans along party lines on Transgender issues. The survey questioned about 4,500 randomly selected people in August and September of 2017. The survey found that overall only 44% of the US population believes that Gender Identity and assigned sex at birth can be different. Broken down by party affiliation, only 20% of Republican affiliated respondents believe that a persons gender can be different from the sex assigned at birth compared to 64% Democrats of Democrat leaning.
The study also revealed that Millennials are evenly split on the issue while only 4 in 10 members of the Gen X and Boomer generation support a difference between assigned sex at birth and being a men or women. This drops to 37 percent for people 72 +. Democrats are more consistent across Generations according to the study.
Education only affects views of Democrats
While Republicans are consistent in their view on Gender Identity versus assigned sex at birth across different levels of education. Democrats in contrast are strongly split: 77% with a bachelor degree but only 59% with a high school diploma or less support this view.
A similar difference exists when looking at race and ethnicity with 76% of white Democrats supporting Gender Identity being different compared to 59% of Hispanics and 45% of black Democrats.
Too far or not far enough?
Recent public debate and the Trump Administrations attempts to roll back protections based on Gender Identity have sparked a larger public debate. Centered around the use of public bathrooms to the attempted ban on transgender military members.
The study also looked into the question if society has gone too far or not far enough in accepting transgender people and did not find a consensus with 32% claiming acceptance has gone too far and 66% stating society has not gone far enough or been about right.
Responses have been strongly divided between party lines with only 12% of Republicans stating that acceptance has not gone far enough compared to 60% of Democrats, Almost reverse views exist when asked if acceptance has gone too far with 57% of Republicans stating that.
Respondents knowing a transgender person in a large majority support the statement that acceptance has not gone far enough while there is still a 23% opinion that protection has not gone far enough. People who do not know a transgender are evenly divided.
About the Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center assists journalists by providing timely information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. As a neutral source of data and analysis, the Pew research Center does not take positions on policy issues. All of their reports are publicly available online.
All data and the two graphics in this article have been used with permission of the Pew Research Center. The original study has been published here.