Republicans are far more likely to believe gender is limited to one’s biological sex apparent at birth, according to statistics Pew Research Center released after local transgender victories in U.S. elections Nov. 7.
In Virginia, Danica Roem unseated 13-term incumbent Republican Robert G. Marshall to become the first openly transgender “woman” elected to a U.S. statehouse, The Hill reported. In Minneapolis, Andrea Jenkins became the first openly transgender African American “woman” elected to public office in the U.S. by defeating three opponents for a Minneapolis City Council seat, The Hill said.
While just over half of Americans, 54 percent, say gender is determined by the sex assigned at birth, Pew reported Nov. 8 that among Republicans the number is about 80 percent. That contrasts to the 34 percent of Democrats who say gender is determined by one’s biological birth gender, according to Pew statistics gathered during four weeks in August and September of this year.
Adding fuel to the issue are contemporary debates regarding which public bathrooms transgender individuals should be allowed to use, whether they should serve in the U.S. military, and which gender they should be assigned on public documents.
Educational attainment further indicates how Democrats feel on the issue, Pew reported. More than three quarters (77 percent) of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or higher said a person’s gender can be different than that assigned at birth. The percentage falls to 57 percent among those with a high school diploma or less.
Among Republicans, the results indicated no difference based on educational attainment, Pew noted.
The poll was conducted online Aug. 8-21 and Sept. 14-28 among 4,573 people included in Pew’s American Trends survey, said Pew, which describes itself as nonpartisan.
The poll found no consensus among Americans of all political hues regarding whether society has been too accepting or not accepting enough of transgender people, Pew said.
Regarding relationships with transgender individuals, 37 percent of Americans said they know someone who is transgender, Pew reported, including 13 percent who said they have a close friend or relative who is transgender.
Pew’s analysis of the findings is available at pewresearch.org under the FactTank heading.
— by Diana Chandler | BP