POLL: Thirty-Five Percent Of People In UK Don’t Know What ‘Trans’ Means

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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A new poll found that 35% of United Kingdom residents either did not know or were unsure if there was a difference between biological women and “trans women.”

Analysis group Murray Blackburn Mackenzie (MBM) conducted the survey in mid-June, asked around 1,000 people, “When you hear someone described as a transgender woman, what do you think this means?” Respondents were given three options, “Someone registered as male/a boy at birth,” “Someone registered as female/a girl at birth,” or “Don’t know.” (RELATED: American Academy Of Pediatrics Calls For ‘Systemic Review’ Of Their Own Guidance For Gender Dysphoric Kids)

Respondents were asked the slightly altered question in late-June, “When you hear someone described as a trans woman, what do you think this means?” In response to both questions, nearly 40% of respondents chose “Someone registered as female/a girl at birth” and “Not sure.”

Men were 2% more likely than women to identify a “transgender woman” as a biological man, but 7% less likely to identify a “trans woman” as a biological man. Respondents in Northern Ireland identified “trans women” as men at a much higher rate than other regions in the UK. Respondents in Scotland identified “transgender women” as men at a higher rate than other regions.

People in the 25-34 demographic were least likely to identity “transgender woman” and “trans woman” as men, with a little over half correctly answering the survey question. In answer to both questions, the younger age demographic of 18-24 was more likely than those 25-34 to say transitioned males are biological males.

“Our findings suggest that media outlets, policy makers, and polling companies all need to anticipate relatively high levels of misunderstanding and confusion when they use these terms,” the pollsters wrote in their analysis. “Using these terms, without spelling out what they mean for a person’s sex as matter of course, will leave a large minority of people at best uncertain.”

“At worst, they will have a back-to-front understanding of what they are being told or asked. ‘Trans woman’ appears more likely than ‘transgender woman’ to be misunderstood, but both have problems. This evidently matters in any context where sex is relevant to what is being discussed.”