Utah reverses ban on transgender student athletes

In Utah, young transgender athletes will be allowed to compete against females after a judge unexpectedly overturned an earlier restriction. The decision was made immediately before the start of the state’s new school year and contradicts a recent Washington Examiner-YouGov survey that indicated most Americans do want transgender athletes to compete against women and girls. The change calls for a panel to decide whether or not a trans student is permitted to compete against girls on a case-by-case basis.

According to the research, 53% of respondents reject transgender athletes being placed on sports teams based on their asserted gender identification. The findings showed a significant party divide on the subject: while 80% of Republicans said they opposed allowing athletes to participate based on gender identification, only 34% of Democrats and 51% of independents said the same. YouGov’s vice president of data science and editor for U.S. politics, Carl Bialik, said the results were consistent with other surveys on the subject.

The topic of transgender athletes participating based on their gender identification has sparked significant societal debate, especially in the context of women’s sports, where male athletes who identify as the opposite sex have dominated events against women. Several states, including South Dakota, Idaho, Louisiana, and Florida have established rules requiring athletes to compete according to their biological sex.

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