Large Majority Believes Transgender Athletes Should Compete With Birth Gender

More than two-thirds of the American public believes that transgender athletes should compete solely with other participants of their birth gender.

A recent Gallup poll found both a firm stance in favor of preserving traditional gendered sports as well as more adults opposing biological males being involved in female-only sports.

The poll found that 69% of respondents believe that athletes should compete only “on teams that match” their birth gender, while 34% disagree. 

This is a significant increase in opposition compared to the same poll two years ago. A May 2021 poll found that 62% believed in competition based on birth gender, while 34% supported athletes playing on teams to match their gender identity. 

This represents a net 15% increase in opposition to transgender athletes competing against the opposite gender.

Furthermore, the poll found that among respondents who personally know a transgender person, a large majority disagree with allowing them to compete against the opposite gender. 

Among those polled, 30% supported transgender athletes playing according to their gender identity, while 64% want athletes to compete against members of their birth gender. 

In addition, 93% of Republicans support teams comprised of the same birth gender, as do 67% of independents. A plurality of Democrats agree, with 48% supporting transgender athletes and 47% opposing.

In 2021, a clear majority, 55% of Democrats, supported transgender athletes competing in co-ed teams. 

The poll also found an increase in those who believe changing one’s gender is “morally wrong,” now believed by 55% of the public, an increase of 4% from two years ago. Disagreeing is 43% of the public.

Among Democrats, 29% of the public believes that attempting to change one’s gender is morally wrong.

The controversy surrounding transgender athletes competing in girls’ and women’s sports has increased considerably in the last several years. Former college swimmer Riley Gaines has spoken nationwide about the impact of a biological male, Lia Thomas, participating in women’s swimming competitions.

Thomas dominated a number of women’s competitions until being bested by another transgender swimmer.