Poll on Americans’ thoughts on transgender athletes divides Twitter users: ‘Confirms what we all know’

Poll on Americans’ thoughts on transgender athletes divides Twitter users: ‘Confirms what we all know’

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Twitter users reacted with both anger and agreement after a Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans oppose transgender athletes competing in women’s sports. 

A joint survey between The Washington Post and The University of Maryland found that 55% of Americans are opposed to allowing transgender women and girls to compete alongside or against biological females in high school sports. This number grew to 58% when asked about competition at the college level. 

Only 30% of Americans believed transgender women and girls should be allowed to compete at any level in female sports. 

Forty-nine percent are opposed to transgender girls competing with others at the youth level, while 33% responded that they should be allowed to compete. Another 17% had no opinion.

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Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas became a topic of discussion on transgender women in sports after winning the 500 meter freestyle during an NCAA college swimming meet with Harvard Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022.

Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas became a topic of discussion on transgender women in sports after winning the 500 meter freestyle during an NCAA college swimming meet with Harvard Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

The poll on the controversial subject provoked a strong reaction online.

“Better headline might be most Americans oppose men dominating women’s sports,” Daily Signal news producer Douglas Blair tweeted. 

“A Washington Post poll finds a clear majority of Americans do not want boys competing against girls in girls’ high school and college sports.  Concurrently, the Biden Administration is going to deny school lunch program money to schools that keep boys out of girls’ sports,” radio host Erick Erickson chimed in. 

Erickson was likely referring to Biden’s March comments, where he told parents transgender children that “affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe.” His administration has endorsed transgender, youth sex-change operations as “gender-affirming healthcare practices.”

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Biden also indicated that his administration would fight state laws that limit how transgender athletes may compete, after transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas drew national attention at the NCAA championships.

Several others also weighed in on the poll. 

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. 

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.  (Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“WaPo/UMD poll confirms what we all know: Americans oppose forcing female athletes to compete against males in women’s sports. Period.  Are you listening @NCAA and @SecCardona?,” the Concerned Women for American legislative action committee tweeted.

But others were critical of the poll results, urging the majority of Americans to reconsider their position and doubling down on their commitment to promote the transgender community. 

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Sydney Bauer, a freelance journalist who has previously covered the Olympics, criticized the line of questioning presented in the poll, rather than its results. She added that trans participation in sports “needs to be normalized” and does not occur in a “vacuum.”

Imari Jones, the founder and CEO of TransLash media, a company that publisheds the stories from the transgender community, was also similarly critical of the poll results. 

Last month, NBC conducted a poll that found an increasing number of Americans say the country has gone too far in accepting transgender identities.

Thirty-three percent of Americans say society has gone too far in accepting transgender identities, while 35% say the country has not gone far enough to end discrimination against transgender people. Another 25% say that the country has reached a reasonable balance in how it deals with transgender people.

While more people indicated there is still more work to be done to end discrimination, the two percentage point lead represents a 10-point drop since NBC News last asked almost a year ago and is within the poll’s 3.10% margin of error.

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Fox News’ Michael Lee and Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report. 

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