Majority of Adults Oppose Gender-Transition Treatment for Minors – Even More Say Politicians Are Too Uninformed to Make Policies

Craig Bannister | September 18, 2023
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Majorities of American adults don’t want teachers secretly affirming a student’s gender identity and think it should be illegal for minors to receive gender-transition medical treatment, a new national survey reveals.

Released Monday, the findings are among those cited in a 19th News report on the results of its SurveyMonkey poll of 20,191 U.S. adults, conducted August 24-31.

Using the euphemism of “gender-affirming care,” the survey asked about the “right” of minors to receive gender-transition medical treatment. Nonetheless, 56% of adults said they oppose such a “right,” with 41% of all adults declaring that they “strongly oppose” giving minors access to transition treatment.

While 39% of all adults said they “favor” minors having a right to receive gender-altering medical treatment, more than two-thirds (68%) of Democrats said they were in favor – compared to just 12% of Republicans and 37% of Independents.

The 39% saying minors have a right to gender-transition medical treatment would likely have been even lower, if the survey question had not lumped in mere discussion (“therapy/consultation”) with actual gender-altering treatment (emphasis added):

“Gender-affirming care for transgender adults includes any kind of care designed to support and affirm their gender identity, including therapy, consultations with doctors, hormones or other medication, and surgery. In general, do you favor or oppose the right of transgender adults to have access to gender-affirming care?”

A majority of U.S. adults also said they oppose teachers secretly indulging a student’s desire to be called by a different name, when asked if “Teachers should be allowed to use a student’s chosen name — that reflects their current gender identity — without informing the parents.”

Fifty-four percent (54%) of all adults said they oppose teachers cloaking a child’s secret identity from his or her parents. Here too, Democrats fueled the 40% who support teachers keeping parents in the dark, as two-thirds (65%) said they were in favor. Only 18% of Republicans and 39% of Independents think teachers should acknowledge a student’s secret gender identity, but keep parents from finding out about it.

The issue of parental notification rights made national news last week, when U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez blocked the Escondido Union School District (EUSD) from enforcing a policy that conceals students’ gender identity or transition from their parents.

Under the temporarily-blocked policy, if a teacher were to disclose the student’s gender identity to their parents without prior consent, they would be “considered to have engaged in discriminatory harassment” and be “subject to adverse employment actions.”

There is one area where Democrats, Republicans and Independents all agree, however: politicians don’t know enough about the gender-transitioning of minors to make policy about it.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents all largely concurred, when asked the following question:

“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Politicians are informed enough about gender-affirming care for minors — including counseling, medication and surgery — to make fair policy.”

Nearly three-fourths (72%) of all U.S. adults said politicians aren’t well enough informed to make fair policy, with a 51% majority going so far as to say they “strongly” believe politicians don’t know enough.

The sentiment that politicians aren’t well-educated enough about the gender-transitioning of minors to make policy is shared by 74% of Republicans, 77% of Democrats and 69% of Independents.

In another instance of rigging a question to bias the results, a survey question required respondents to pick a single answer from a faulty comparison of three answers, only one of which asked about “gender-affirming care”:

  • “Politicians should focus on protecting transgender individuals”: 33%
  • “Politicians should focus on restricting gender-affirming care”: 17%
  • “Politicians should not focus on transgender issues”: 44%


Thus, respondents had to say that they were either in favor of “protecting transgender individuals” (people) or in favor of restricting treatment (“care”) – or in favor of politicians ignoring transgender “issues” altogether.

In other words, while 33% said they thought politicians’ focus should be on protecting transgender people, the other two choices did not ask respondents if they opposed politicians focusing on protecting those individuals.

Even with the skewed question forcing the three choices (plus, the 6% “No Answers”) to equal 100%, 44% still said they believe politicians shouldn’t put their focus on transgender issues, in general.