In Poll, Most Say Trans Women Have Unfair Edge in Sports

Findings apply to high school, college, and pro levels
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2022 3:08 PM CDT
Poll: Most Americans Oppose Trans Women in Sports
A file photo of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who competes on the University of Pennsylvania women's team.   (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

More Americans identify as transgender than ever, and acceptance of trans people in general is on the rise. But a new poll suggests that one area remains controversial: trans girls and women competing in sports. Most Americans are opposed to the idea on the grounds of fairness, according to the poll from the Washington Post and the University of Maryland:

  • High school: 55% of American oppose the idea of trans teens competing against other girls in high school. About 30% are OK with it, and 15% have no opinion.
  • College/pro: 58% oppose the idea in college and pro sports. About 28% are OK with it, and 15% have no opinion.
  • Youth: 49% oppose the idea in youth sports, with about 33% in favor and 17% with no opinion.
  • Dig into the more results from the poll here. It was conducted in May among about 1,500 people across the US.

Some reaction:

  • "This should burst a few narratives," writes Ed Morrissey at the right-leaning site Hot Air. "Despite attempts by the media and progressives to shame anyone who questions whether biological males should compete against biological females, the champions of transgender access to women’s sports turn out to be in a small minority."
  • "This shouldn’t be surprising at all," writes Charles C.W. Cooke at the conservative National Review. "There is an enormous difference between asking for tolerance of your difference and making physical demands of other people on the back of it. If a 30-year-old man says he identifies as a five-year-old, a lot of Americans will say, “okay, whatever, free country.” If that man then demands to enter the five-year-old’s spelling bee, they’ll demur."
  • The Post summed up the views of those opposed to bans on trans athletes: "Critics of the bans say they deny transgender athletes’ right to compete in a space that aligns with their gender, further stigmatizing children who are at greater risk of mental health problems. Critics also say the bans overestimate the extent of trans girls’ and women’s participation in athletics."
(One of the most high-profiles trans athletes competes in women's college swimming.)

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