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Study Sheds Light On Attitudes Toward Transgender Americans

Aug 8, 2019

A first-of-its-kind national survey reveals opinions that undermine some of the primary arguments that have been used to restrict the rights of transgender Americans. 

The survey conducted by Ohio State University sociologist Natasha Quadlin and other researchers asked four-thousand adults to classify the sex of transgender people. Quadlin says the respondents were more likely to view a transgender person as the gender they were born with, rather than the gender they identify as. But that view changed if the person "passes" as the gender with which they identify.

Quadlin says the findings are contrary to a popular argument that identity should be based on biology. She notes those views could make some transgender people feel pressured that they have to "pass" as the gender they prefer in order to be accepted. The survey also shows women are more supportive of transgender people than men, which runs contrary to the "bathroom debate" that women would be most uncomfortable using a restroom with a transgender individual. Quadlin says contact with a transgender individual impacts attitudes.

President Trump has made several moves to undermine transgender rights, including removing Title IX protections from transgender youths, and blocking transgender people from openly serving in the military.