Recent polling on transgender issues

There has been a moderate amount of polling on transgender discrimination and policy issues over the past year. Some questions focus on transgender people specifically while others include “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” people in the question.

I confess I was not aware of the range of items and typical responses, so I hope this provides some useful context for public opinion on issues related to transgender people. Unfortunately, I did not find any questions asked in the last year that specifically mention service in the armed forces.

Here are the complete question text, results, polling organization and survey dates for polls taken since August 2016. I do not repeat each of the PRRI results illustrated above.

 

Do you think each of the following has too much, too little, or neither too much nor too
little power and influence in Washington?…Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

27 Too much
35 Neither too much nor too little
37 Too little
* Don’t know
1 Refused
AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research June 8-June 11, 2017

In terms of policies governing public restrooms, do you think these policies should
require transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their birth
gender or should these policies allow transgender individuals to use the restroom that
corresponds with their gender identity?

48 Birth gender
45 Gender identity
7 No opinion
Gallup May 3-May 7, 2017

Do you think new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against lesbian,
gay, bisexual or transgender people, or not?

51 Yes, new laws needed
46 No, not needed
3 No opinion
Gallup May 3-May 7, 2017

Now thinking about professional sports teams, would you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or
strongly oppose a professional sports team signing a player who is transgender?

14 Strongly favor
44 Favor
24 Oppose
5 Strongly oppose
13 Unsure
Marist College March 22-March 27, 2017

Do you think public schools should allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with the gender they identify with or don’t you think so?

48 Yes/Should
45 No/Should not
8 Don’t know/No answer
Quinnipiac University March 2-March 6, 2017

Do you think more acceptance of transgender people would be a good thing for the country, a bad thing for the country, or do you think that it would not make much difference either way?

41 Good thing
14 Bad thing
42 Not much difference
3 Don’t know/No answer
Quinnipiac University March 2-March 6, 2017

How accepting do you think the US is of transgender people today; very accepting, somewhat accepting, not so accepting, or not accepting at all?

12 Very accepting
51 Somewhat accepting
25 Not so accepting
8 Not accepting at all
4 Don’t know/No answer
Quinnipiac University March 2-March 6, 2017

Now thinking about the people that you know…Please tell me whether you have a close
friend or family member who is…transgender?

21 Yes
77 No
2 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

Just your impression, in the United States today, is there a lot of discrimination
against…transgender people, or not?

64 Yes, there is a lot of discrimination
30 No, not a lot of discrimination
6 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose…laws that require transgender
individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth rather than their
current gender identity?

19 Strongly favor
20 Favor
22 Oppose
31 Strongly oppose
8 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose…laws that would protect gay,
lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public
accommodations, and housing?

42 Strongly favor
28 Favor
11 Oppose
15 Strongly oppose
5 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

Now, as I read some statements on a few different topics, please tell me if you completely
agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree or completely disagree with each one….Bullying of
gay, lesbian, and transgender teenagers is a major problem in our schools…Do you
completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree or completely disagree?

35 Completely agree
30 Mostly agree
18 Mostly disagree
11 Completely disagree
6 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

Now, as I read some statements on a few different topics, please tell me if you completely
agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree or completely disagree with each one….Legal
protections that apply to gay and lesbian people should also apply to transgender
people…Do you completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree or completely disagree?

43 Completely agree
30 Mostly agree
10 Mostly disagree
12 Completely disagree
5 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

How familiar are you with the term transgender? Do you know what this term means, have you heard of it but are not sure what it means, or have you never heard of the term
transgender before?

84 Know what the term means
11 Heard of it but not sure what it means
5 Never heard of the term before
* Don’t know/Refused
PRRI February 10-February 19, 2017

Below are 10 news stories from 2016. For each one, please indicate how important that
story was to you personally….Extremely important, very important, somewhat important,
not too important, not at all important…North Carolina enacts law curbing LGBT
(lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) rights and transgender bathroom access, provoking
economic and political backlash

17 Extremely important
21 Very important
29 Somewhat important
17 Not too important
14 Not at all important
2 Refused/Unanswered
GfK Roper December 9-December 11, 2016

Which of these describes you well?…Supporter of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) people

45% Selected
55% Not selected
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, October 25-November 8, 2016

(Half sample, ask:) As you may know, recent stories in the news have highlighted a debate
over the use of public restrooms by transgender individuals–such as people who now
identify and live as females but were born male. Some argue that transgender people should be allowed to use the public restrooms of the gender with which they currently identify. Others argue that transgender people should be required to use the public restrooms of the gender they were born into. We’re interested in your views about this situation.

(Half sample, ask:) As you may know, recent stories in the news have highlighted a debate
over the use of public restrooms by transgender individuals–such as people who now
identify and live as males but were born female. Some argue that transgender people should be allowed to use the public restrooms of the gender with which they currently identify. Others argue that transgender people should be required to use the public restrooms of the gender they were born into. We’re interested in your views about this situation.)…

And if you had to choose, which comes closest to your view? Transgender people should be allowed to use the public restrooms of the gender with which they currently identify,
required to use the public restrooms of the gender they were born into

51 Allowed to use the public restrooms of the gender with which they currently identify
46 Required to use the public restrooms of the gender they were born into
3 No answer
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, August 16-September 12, 2016

Do you personally know anyone who is transgender, or not?

30 Yes, I know someone who is transgender
68 No, I do not
2 No answer
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, August 16-September 12, 2016

Now, we would like to get your views on some issues that are being discussed in the
country today. Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose…laws that would
protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs,
public accommodations, and housing?

38 Strongly favor
34 Favor
13 Oppose
10 Strongly oppose
5 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI August 10-August 16, 2016

Now, we would like to get your views on some issues that are being discussed in the
country today. Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose…laws that
require transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth
rather than their current gender identity?

15 Strongly favor
20 Favor
23 Oppose
30 Strongly oppose
12 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI August 10-August 16, 2016

Do you think…the Republican Party is very friendly, somewhat friendly, somewhat
unfriendly, or very unfriendly toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people?

7 Very friendly
26 Somewhat friendly
25 Somewhat unfriendly
26 Very unfriendly
16 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI August 10-August 16, 2016

Do you think…the Democratic Party is very friendly, somewhat friendly, somewhat
unfriendly, or very unfriendly toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people?

38 Very friendly
35 Somewhat friendly
7 Somewhat unfriendly
6 Very unfriendly
14 Don’t know/Refused
PRRI August 10-August 16, 2016