Global attitudes are changing quickly toward Transgender people

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A recent online scientific survey shows a large majority of people around the world would like their country to do more to support and protect transgender people. Ipsos undertook a survey on the topic of transgender people on their Global Advisor. The data was collected online between October 24, and November 7, 2017 and showed that in many countries the perception is changing toward the transgender community. However, the U.S. lagged behind some countries surveyed.

The countries surveyed included: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. Ipsos chose to focus the most on findings from the 16 countries where internet penetration is sufficiently high to feel confident that the data is truly representative (and it is weighted as such). Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United States were weighted heavily.

The survey has a large majority of people saying they would like their country to do more to support and protect transgender people (60%), with those in Spain (70%) and Argentina (67%) most likely to agree. Poland (39%), Hungary, and Japan (both 41%) are least likely to agree. A slim majority of respondents in the United States (51%) and France (52%) would like to see their country do more to protect and support transgender individuals.

People around the world are more likely to say they believe their government needs to protect transgender people from discrimination (70%), with a majority of every country in the nationally representative markets agreeing (Argentina (84%) is most likely to agree, Poland (51%) is least likely to agree).

When asked about the correct pronoun usages for transgender people, Ipsos developed two questions. The questions were only administered in the study countries where English is the primary language (Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States) given the language’s gender binary. In these countries, approximately two in five report referring to transgender men as ‘he’ and transgender women as ‘she’, rather than using the pronoun used at their birth. Approximately one in five would use the neutral pronoun of ‘they.’

Americans are most likely to report that they would use the pronoun of the transgender person’s birth, with 22% reporting they would refer to a transgender woman as ‘he’ and 21% reporting referring to a transgender man as ‘she’. Australia (13% and 14%, respectively), Canada (14% for each), and Great Britain (12% and 13%, respectively) were less likely to report using the pronoun of a transgender person’s birth.

Among those surveyed, (52%) believe that transgender people are a natural occurrence. This belief is most commonly held in Spain (64%) and Germany (60%). People in Hungary (44%), Italy (45%), and Japan (48%) are the least likely to believe that transgender people are a natural occurrence. Although people in Italy and Hungary agree at similar rates that transgender people are a natural occurrence, just 11% of people in Italy believe transgender people have a form of mental illness, compared to 43% in Hungary. People in Italy (11%), Spain (9%), Argentina (13%), and France (13%) are least likely to believe that transgender people have a form of mental illness.

Meanwhile, among western countries, the United States is most likely to believe that transgender people have a mental illness (32%) and the most likely out of all countries surveyed to believe that transgendered people are committing a sin (32%). Americans are the most likely to say that society has gone too far in allowing people to dress and live as one sex even though they were born another (36%), while people in Japan are least likely to agree with this sentiment (9%).

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