The Silent Majority Opposes Transgender Activism in Schools, Supports Parents’ Rights

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Americans are waking up to the threat of transgender activism in schools. While President Joe Biden tries to tie school lunch money to transgender policies and Governor Gavin Newsom threatens to remove kids from their parents if the parents refuse to treat their boys like girls or vice versa, Americans know that schools should not indoctrinate kids with the noxious idea that biology means nothing.

Many on the Left support transgender lessons in school, oppose any idea of parental opt-outs, and vocally push unfettered childhood access to “treatments” that will leave kids stunted, scarred, and infertile. Yet new polling suggests that vast majorities of registered voters — in both parties — oppose transgender lessons in school and support parents’ rights to opt their kids out of any such lessons. Many also oppose transgender “treatments” for kids.

A whopping 72% of registered voters said schools should not teach children that they can change their gender, while 62% said that “it is never appropriate” for schools to teach kids that they can change their gender, according to an RMG Research poll commissioned by America’s New Majority Project and provided to The Daily Signal.

Requiring parental buy-in on the issues is extremely popular. Four-fifths of registered voters (80%) said “yes” to the question, “Regardless of grade level, if schools do teach children that they can change their gender, should parents be given advance notice and the choice to opt out their children from the curriculum?” Most Republicans (88%), independents (74%), and Democrats (71%) supported a parental opt-out right.

When asked, “Should schools teach children that they can change their gender?” majorities of self-identified Republicans (90%), independents (75%), and Democrats (51%) said “no.” Only 10% of registered voters and minorities of Republicans (5%), independents (6%), and Democrats (20%) said “yes.”

When asked, “At what grade level, if any, is it appropriate for schools to teach children that they can change their gender?” large majorities of Republicans (80%) and independents (63%) said it is never appropriate, and even 41% of Democrats agreed. Only 4% of registered voters said it is appropriate to tell this to elementary school children, while 12% said it is an appropriate lesson for middle school, and 22% said it is appropriate for high school. In other words, 96% of registered voters agreed that schools should refrain from teaching gender ideology to kids under sixth grade.

Gender activists often dismiss the concerns of parents when it comes to transgender issues. They encourage schools to hide the truth of the matter from a child’s parents if a boy or girl claims to identify as the opposite sex. Yet most registered voters (73%) said that the teacher or school should notify the parents if a boy says he wants to identify as a girl. Only 12% said the school should not notify parents, while 15% said they are not sure. Most Republicans (85%), independents (69%), and Democrats (63%) supported parental notification.

Most registered voters said that schools implement transgender policies because they are “pushing an ideological or social agenda” (54%) rather than because they have “children’s best interests at heart” (28%). About one-fifth of them (18%) said they are not sure about the underlying motivation.

Most registered voters (60%) said it would be a form of child abuse if a teacher or school encourages students to change their gender identity. A similar majority (60%) said it would not be a form of child abuse if parents encourage a child to retain his or her “biological gender” if he or she expressed a desire to “transition to another gender.”

When asked if they support or oppose a policy to require all public schools to “treat people according to their chosen gender identity,” allowing “a biological male who identifies as a female” to “compete in women’s sports and use the women’s locker room,” most registered voters somewhat opposed (16%) or strongly opposed the policy (53%), while only 9% said they “strongly favor” it, 11% said they “somewhat favor” it, and 11% said they were unsure.

This falls in line with a 2021 Gallup poll finding that 62% of U.S. adults said that transgender athletes “should only be allowed to play on sports teams that match their birth gender, while 34% said they “should be able to play on sports teams that match their current gender identity.” Previous Gallup polling had found a clear liberal-conservative split on transgender bathroom access.

The RMG Research poll also asked registered voters about “gender-affirming care,” which pollsters defined as “puberty blockers or surgery to help transition a boy to a girl or a girl to a boy.” Most registered voters (59%) said it should be against the law to provide this “treatment” to children, while 23% said it should be legal and 19% said they were unsure. Most registered voters (56%) said that conducting gender-transition surgery on a child is a form of child abuse, and most of them (73%) said children should not be able to receive this “treatment” without their parents’ permission.

The pollsters also asked, “If children are allowed to receive gender affirming care without their parents’ permission, who should pay for it?” Most registered voters (77%) said “Children should not be allowed to receive gender affirming care without their parents’ permission,” while 4% said taxpayers should foot the bill for the “treatments,” 11% said “non-profits” should pay, and 8% said “someone else” should pony up cash.

RMG Research conducted the poll Oct. 18-20, 2022, among 1,200 registered voters online. Scott Rasmussen, president of the polling firm, told The Daily Signal that online polling is an “imperfect vehicle” to capture voters’ perceptions, but he noted that he focused on registered voters to capture a picture of the electorate, weighing the sample by race and education to capture a nuanced picture. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points.

“Americans are a tolerant people but they won’t be bullied into accepting a lie, or putting children at risk,” Joe DeSantis, director of polling at America’s New Majority Project, told The Daily Signal. “Politicians demanding that schools and doctors push transgender ideology will alienate the vast majority of the American people.”

The idea that schools should teach boys that they can become girls, without any input from parents, and then go on to hide a boy’s cross-sex identification from his mom and dad is both ridiculous and outrageous. Yet transgender activists are so sure of their ideology that they think it is in the child’s interest to drive a wedge between him and his parents.

Yet the idea that experimental transgender medical interventions are a form of “gender-affirming care” may be even more noxious. Removing healthy sex organs based on a child’s insistence that he or she is really the opposite sex is nothing short of barbaric. Yet even less invasive interventions also bring terrifying side effects. Cross-sex hormones can weaken kids’ bones and make them more prone to heart disease. So-called puberty blockers, often billed as fully reversible, involve introducing a disease into a child’s body and make puberty harder to start again, should the child change his or her mind. 

This craze seems reminiscent of the horrific history of eugenics and lobotomies, which were celebrated as the height of “progressive” science and medicine at the time. The inventor of the lobotomy received a Nobel Prize, and many Nobel laureates supported eugenics.  

America may look back on transgender surgeries the way horrified students of history look back on these “progressive” phenomena. 

Americans are rightly waking up to the horror of schools pushing this dangerous ideology, but they should also examine “gender-affirming care.” The fact that 23% of registered voters think these horrific interventions should be legal for minors who cannot drink, vote, or serve in the military is extremely troubling.

Americans should sympathize with the deep psychological pain that many who identify as transgender experience, but they should also accept the basic fact that biology cannot be reversed. Males are male down to every cell in their body (except sperm cells), and females are female in the same way. Even the most invasive surgery cannot alter this fact, and indoctrinating kids with this ideology amounts to teaching a religious worldview — and a blatantly false one, at that.

Protecting children from destructive lies should be a no-brainer, and this polling suggests that Americans understand the fundamental role parents play in keeping their kids safe from this poisonous ideology.

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