A Third Of Americans Think Transgender People Are Committing A Sin

A new study examines attitudes towards the trans community from around the world.

A new study exploring attitudes toward transgender people in 27 countries has yielded some surprising results.

The survey, conducted by data analysis firm Ipsos, indicates 52% of people asserting that being transgender is “a natural occurrence,” with respondents from Spain and Germany holding this belief at the highest rate, 64% and 60% respectively.

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Eastern Europeans, though, were most likely to hold harmful beliefs about trans people: 2 in 5 people in Serbia, Hungary, and Poland believed that being transgender is a mental illness, as compared to just 1 in 10 in Western Europe.

Around the world, nearly 60% of respondents believed their country was becoming more tolerant of the trans community—that perception was strongest in Argentina (78%), Canada (78%), and the U.K. (75%). A majority of people (60%) in these countries also believe transgender people are “brave.”

Sadly, a third of respondents from the U.S. believe that transgender people suffer from a mental illness. Which is at odds with the 71% of respondents who believe the U.S. is becoming more tolerant of transgender people.

Additionally, out of all countries surveyed, Americans were most likely to believe that trans people are committing a sin (32%). A full 36% believe society has gone too far in allowing people to dress and live in a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth.

Zachary Zane is a writer and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, culture, and academic research. He has contributed to The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and The Advocate.