Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Sex assignment is the determination of an infant's sex at birth. In the majority cases, gender identity matches person’s assigned sex. Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer/non-binary, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).
The American public is sharply divided along religious lines over whether it is possible for someone to be a gender different from their sex at birth. A new analysis from the Pew Research Center shows that atheists and agnostics, more than any religious group, accept transgender identities. In the survey, researchers asked whether a person’s gender is determined at birth. While 84% of white evangelicals wrongly agreed with the statement, the number dropped sharply to 29% for atheists and agnostics. (It was 37% overall for religious “Nones.”)
Most Christians in the United States (63%) say that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by their sex at birth. Among religious “nones” – those who identify religiously as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – about six-in-ten (62%) say they think a person’s gender is not necessarily determined by the sex they are assigned at birth.
Religious differences also extend to questions about societal acceptance of transgender people. Most white evangelical Protestants (61%) say society has “gone too far” when it comes to accepting people who are transgender. Most of them also think that transgender people should be required to use the public restrooms that correspond with their birth gender.
The results of the study also showed that roughly a third of Christians (34%) say they personally know someone who is transgender, ranging from 25% of white evangelicals to 41% of white mainline Protestants and the same share of black Protestants. About four-in-ten religious “nones” (43%) say they know a transgender individual, including half of those who describe themselves as atheists or agnostics. It is something quite expected because of higher level of tolerance among religious “nones”. People still have a long way to go before transgender people are accepted by society. Let’s hope those percentages to be higher and higher over the years.
Photo Credits: The Atlantic