Transgender Agenda Losing Support: Poll
Although left-wing activists often say they represent “the right side of history,” a well-regarded poll finds that support for a key item of the LGBTQ agenda has collapsed faster than virtually any other issue: Significantly fewer Americans support allowing men to use women’s restrooms in 2022 than in 2016.
“Americans are 17 percentage points more likely to favor” laws requiring the two sexes to use separate restrooms “today than they were in 2016, when the question was first asked,” according to the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). “In fact, 2022 saw the sharpest uptick of strong support for requiring transgender people to use bathrooms based on their” sex.
“Typically, opinion does not move so quickly on such issues,” PRRI notes.
Americans of all political views became less supportive of this plank of the LGBTQ agenda over the last six years, with registered independents switching their views completely. “In 2016, most independents opposed” laws respecting female privacy, “but by 2022 a small majority favored these laws,” the polling firm states in an article published on December 15.
Surprisingly, the number of Democrats backing restroom privacy laws has grown by four points in 2022 (31%) over the level in 2016 (27%), according to PRRI’s 2022 American Values Survey.
Support for laws respecting privacy in intimate settings spans all racial and ethnic backgrounds, religions, and nearly all generations. A majority of multiracial (53%), Hispanic (52%), and white Americans (51%), as well as half of black Americans (50%), told PRRI they support legally established zones of privacy where people disrobe. Only college-educated white people, registered Democrats, people not affiliated with any religion, and those under the age of 30 tend to favor sexually mixed restrooms, the poll finds.
One likely reason for the seismic change is increasing public awareness of physical and sexual assaults inflicted by men against women inside restrooms. Last week, details emerged that a male who identifies as female physically attacked two teenage girls in a female restroom inside the Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Oklahoma. The nation’s restrooms have been the sight of numerous assaults and acts of voyeurism stretching all the way back to 1999. Recent incidents include:
- “Two Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) officials have been indicted in Virginia on charges related to attempts to cover up two sexual assaults in a girls’ bathroom and in an empty classroom perpetrated against female students by a male student” who identified as “gender fluid,” The Washington Stand reported last week;
- In March, an 18-year-old male exposed his genitals to a child inside a gender-neutral restroom in Wisconsin’s Rhinelander High School;
- A five-year-old girl said a male student who identified as “gender fluid” sexually molested her inside the restroom of Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, on November 16, 2017. The school district violated Title IX by failing to adequately investigate the incident, according to a 2020 ruling from the Office of Civil Rights in the Trump administration’s Education Department; and
- Police arrested a man for indecent exposure inside a women’s restroom in Charlotte, North Carolina, in July 2016.
Similar outrages have occurred in intimate facilities other than restrooms:
- The Daily Mail reported this month that prison authorities transferred convicted child rapist Brett David Sonia, who now identifies as Brooke Lyn Sonia, to Washington Correctional Center for Women, reportedly leaving women “petrified” they will be victimized next;
- In July 2016, police arrested a man for recording a young girl changing her clothes inside a Target changing room. Sean Patrick Smith, who identified as woman named “Shauna Patricia Smith,” reportedly told police that he exploited Target’s celebrated, transgender-friendly policies to record several young women undressing. Smith entered a guilty plea to one count of video voyeurism in October 2016; and
- Officials accused voyeurs of recording similar, surreptitious videos in Target’s multi-sex changing rooms in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Texas in 2016 alone.
The real difference on the issue comes down to ideology, not age, PRRI states. The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and Generation X oppose opening restrooms to transgender people. Americans aged 30-49 are evenly split, while those 18-29 support transgender restroom use. But the report notes that Millennials and Gen Z who belong to the Republican Party side with older Republicans in backing restroom privacy legislation.
“Generational divisions, then, are largely attributable to differences in the generations to identify with the Democratic or Republican Party,” says the survey. “If younger cohorts start identifying more with the Republican Party,” support for restroom privacy will increase.
“It is not guaranteed that demographic change means a destiny of victory for LGBTQ equality,” concludes PRRI.
Values play a strong role in how citizens view transgender restrooms. A majority of “members of all religious groups support requiring transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex,” notes PRRI, “including three in four white evangelical Protestants (75%), 64% of other Christians, 58% of white mainline Protestants, 57% of Black Protestants (57%), 53% of white Catholics, 51% of Hispanic Catholics, and 50% of non-Christian religious Americans.” Yet only 34% of the Nones support gender privacy.
Americans who believe there are only two sexes are also three times more likely to support separate restroom and changing spaces than those who believe in gender fluidity (69% vs. 23%).
What’s more, the poll’s results fall to the left of many other surveys; for instance, a 2016 WPA Opinion poll found two-thirds of all Americans oppose transgender restrooms. PRRI’s declining numbers indicate public support has eroded even more than the report lets on. The title of the report announcing these results, “Challenges In Moving Toward A More Inclusive Democracy,” reflects PRRI’s pique.
PRRI also complains that “Americans who most trust far-right news outlets” are “notably more likely to support” restroom privacy (84%), even more than those whose first news choice is Fox News (78%). Americans who “most trust mainstream outlets are much less likely to support” female restroom rights (44%).
Time magazine ran an article in 2016 titled, “Transgender Bathroom: Advocates Say ‘Predator’ is Myth.” A year later, CNN asserted that “there is no evidence” that policies giving males access to female’s intimate spaces “lead to attacks in public facilities.”
Nearly two out of three people who stopped or curbed their viewing of CNN (61%) agreed that “one of the reasons I find myself watching CNN less often is because of its liberal/left-wing bias,” according to a new poll from the Media Research Center.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.