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Social & Policy Issues
Slim Majority of U.S. Adults Still Say Changing Gender Is Morally Wrong
Social & Policy Issues

Slim Majority of U.S. Adults Still Say Changing Gender Is Morally Wrong

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A steady 51% of Americans think changing one’s gender is morally wrong, while 44% say it is morally acceptable, which is generally in line with readings in 2021 and 2023. At the same time, more than six in 10 U.S. adults oppose laws banning gender-affirming care for minors.

Demographic Differences Persist in Morality of Changing Gender

There are significant demographic differences in Americans' views of the morality of changing one’s gender. Majorities of political liberals (81%), Democrats (72%), those who do not identify with a religion (67%), those who do not attend religious services regularly (59%), young adults aged 18 to 29 (56%) and college graduates (53%) believe changing genders is morally acceptable. Less than half of their counterparts say the same.

While slightly less than half of women believe in the moral acceptability of changing genders, they are significantly more likely than men to think as much (48% vs. 39%, respectively).


These subgroup readings, from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 1-23, are not meaningfully different from the two prior readings in 2021 and 2023.

Most Americans Oppose Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

In recent years, lawmakers in many U.S. states have attempted to limit or ban access to gender-affirming care for minors. These treatments generally can include psychological counseling, puberty blockers or hormone treatments. In all, 25 states have enacted laws or policies limiting minors’ access to gender-affirming care. Many of the states are facing lawsuits challenging these laws.

Gallup gauges Americans’ support for laws banning such care for minors with two questions, each asked of half of the total sample. One question asks about bans in general terms, on “treatments and medical procedures,” while the other spells out some of the specific treatments that could be banned, such as “psychological support, hormonal treatments and medical surgeries” to help minors align with their gender identity.

The two question versions yield statistically similar results. In both cases, a little more than one-third of U.S. adults favor laws banning gender-affirming care, and just over six in 10 oppose such laws.


On both questions, Republicans are more supportive than Democrats and independents of bans on gender-affirming care for minors. On the more specific question that includes psychological support, hormonal treatments and medical surgeries, a majority of Republicans (53%) but far fewer Democrats (25%) and independents (34%) favor a ban. On the more general question, Republicans are somewhat less likely to support a ban on treatments and medical procedures (45%), while Democrats’ and independents’ responses remain unchanged from the more specific question.


Gallup measures U.S. adults’ gender identity in all of its surveys; an average of 0.9% of U.S. adults in 2023 identified as transgender. Transgender identification among adults is highest (2.8%) for those in Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2005).

A slim majority of Americans believe that changing one’s gender is morally wrong. Yet, a majority also oppose laws banning gender-affirming care to help minors align with their gender identity. This discrepancy could be because the questions about gender-affirming care specifically mention minors, while the question about the morality of changing one’s gender does not. In addition, the relatively low support for banning laws on gender-affirming care may be attributable to Americans’ general distaste for bans, a pattern that can be seen in Gallup trends on banning cigarette smoking and handguns.

Laws targeting gender-affirming care have already been passed in half of the U.S., particularly in states with Republican-led legislatures, and they have the backing of more Republicans than Democrats in the U.S. Still, rank-and-file Republicans do not overwhelmingly support these initiatives.

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View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).


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