Republicans and Democrats don’t often see eye-to-eye on social issues, but even within the Democratic party, there’s a differing views on gender identity and transgender issues.
A May 2022 poll from The Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of U.S. adults say that the identities of man or woman are determined by someone’s sex at birth. Around 38 percent say someone can be a man or woman, even if that differs from their sex at birth.
The statistics reveal that over half of U.S. adults incorrectly conflate gender with sex, as every major medical institution separates the two.
According to the National Institute of Health: “‘Sex’ refers to biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles. ‘Gender’ refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time.”
Though the division is greater among party lines, as a new study from Pew found that 86 percent of Republicans believe gender is determined by sex, as opposed to 61 percent of Democrats who believe the two are separate categories.
Even within the Democratic party, the opinions of racial groups vastly differ. Around 66 percent of Black Democrats align with Republicans in the belief that gender is determined by sex.
In comparison, 72 percent of White Democrats, 61 percent of Asian Democrats, and 54 percent of Hispanic Democrats believe that gender and sex are separate.
When it comes to transgender acceptance across party lines, “38 percent of adults say society has gone too far in accepting trans people, 36 percent say it has not gone far enough, and 23 percent say it is about right.” Of Republicans, 66 percent say society has “gone too far in accepting transgender people,” while a majority of Democrats at 59 percent say it has not gone far enough.
Black Democrats are less likely than White, Hispanic, and Asian Democrats to favor policies that would protect transgender people from discrimination in the workforce, athletics, or in healthcare.
In social settings, 34 percent of Black Democrats favor policies that would require transgender people to use public bathrooms that match their sex at birth. Support for such policies is much lower among other Democrats, with, 14 percent of White, 20 percent of Asian, and 24 percent of Hispanic Democrats
The difference in opinions based on racial groups can somewhat be attributed to the role spirituality plays in minority communities, as the report reads: “[Black Democrats] tend to be more religious than other Democrats as well – and more likely to say religion influences their views on gender identity.”
Another factor that sets White Democrats apart is their proximity to transgender people in their lives, with the study finding they are “more likely than Democrats in all other major racial and ethnic groups to say their views on gender identity are influenced a great deal or fair amount by knowing someone who is transgender.”