A new survey taken by research group Gallup has indicated broad support for bathroom policies which ensure transgender individuals use the restroom associated with their birth gender.
Trans bathroom policies have split opinion ever since Walmart hit the headlines in 2016 for allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom that matches with their percieved gender identity. In response, thousands expressed concerns about public safety, and a massive boycott of the retailing giant was launched.
Three years on, it appears that people are still extremely worried about the prospect of biological men entering the women’s restroom, and vice versa.
According to Gallup’s new poll, over half of the 1,017 American adults surveyed (51%) were in agreement that transgender people should “use the restroom that corresponds with their birth gender.”
Interestingly, in the broader context of this wide ranging study into LGBT issues, the public opinion on bathroom policies was standalone. In general, those surveyed supported pro-LGBT initiatives. However, when it came to trans people being allowed in any bathroom they wish, the opinions shifted drastically.
Upon further breakdown of the data, it was clear that men (61%) were more likely than women (42%) to say that bathroom admission should be in line with birth gender.
Politically, there was also a significant split — 78% of Republicans shared the birth-gender view, while just 27% of Democrats deemed it a necessary measure. Most democrats who took part in the poll argued that trans people should be free to choose whichever restroom they see fit.
“Views on the policies are strongest by political party identification, so it’s very likely that policy changes will only take place upon shifts in party control at state and federal levels,” wrote Gallup analyst Justin McCarthy.
“While public opinion has moved little in recent years, the actual federal policies for schools on this issue have undergone an about-face from the previous presidency.”