A new survey commissioned by Newsweek has found that almost half of millennials between the ages 25-34 believe that misgendering a transgender person should be a criminal offense. Misgendering refers to using the correct pronouns associated with a persons birth sex instead of those associated with their self-declared gender identity.
The study was conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on July 6 and examined 1,500 eligible voters in the United States, asking them their views on preferred pronouns. Of those surveyed, 44% of millennials revealed that they believed that “referring to someone by the wrong gender pronoun (he/him, she/her) should be a criminal offense.”
In contrast, 31% of millennials disagreed that it should be made illegal to misgender someone, with the remaining percentage saying they “neither agree nor disagree” or “don’t know.”
Surprisingly, Generation Z was less likely than their millennial counterparts to believe that misgendering someone should be made a crime. According to Newsweek, 33% of Zoomers think misgendering someone should be a criminal offense, with 48% disagreeing.
According to the survey, the majority of Americans do not share the same sentiment as millennials and Gen Z. Results revealed that only 19% of all eligible American voters believe misgendering should be illegal, with 65% disagreeing. Of the remainder, 12% neither agreed nor disagreed, and 4% responded that they were unsure of their views on the subject.
Those surveyed were not asked what the punishment should be for individuals who use the wrong pronouns.
Despite the results, more Americans admitted that they would still refer to someone by their preferred pronouns than not. In total, 37% answered they would refer to a trans-identified male by she/her pronouns if asked, with 38% saying they would do the same for a trans-identified female.
According to the Daily Mail, recent interest in the criminalization of misgendering stems from several Republican-led states passing laws banning certain so-called “gender-affirming” procedures and treatments for minors.
While some have labelled these laws discriminatory against transgender people, Forbes reported that 12 states have either banned or limited the use of puberty blockers and hormones for patients under the age of 18, with more Republican-led states being expected to follow.
Several European countries, including Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Norway, have similarly recently revised their guidelines on the transitioning of minors, with many European medical authorities classifying it as “experimental” and urging caution. As a result, some nations are now restricting the use of “puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transition-related surgery to clinical research settings only.”