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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Rightward Ho: Americans are more likely to be social conservatives

Are there two sexes? Americans in 2023 are slightly more likely to say that gender is binary than they were in 2021, according to a new PRRI poll.

I suspect we're seeing a backlash to transgender advocacy.

Two years ago, 59 percent of those polled said there are genders, male and female, while 40 percent said there are many possible genders. The pro-binary group rose to 62 percent in 2022 and 65 percent this year.

Younger people shifted the most toward the gender binary side of the equation.

Ninety percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Independents believe gender is binary, compared to 44 percent of Democrats.

The survey also asked when it's appropriate for public schools to discuss same-sex relationships: 18 percent said elementary school, 28 percent said middle school and 19 percent high school, while 34 percent said never.

Asked about discussions of heterosexual relationships, 22 percent said it was appropriate in elementary school, 33 percent middle school and 19 percent high school, with 24 percent choosing never.

Teaching about gender identity in elementary school is a bad idea, all but 18 percent said; 26 percent said it was OK in middle school, 18 percent in high school and 36 percent never.

Social conservativism is on the rise, according to Gallup's new Values and Beliefs survey, reports Jeffrey M. Jones.

More Americans this year (38%) say they are very conservative or conservative on social issues than said so in 2022 (33%) and 2021 (30%). At the same time, the percentage saying their social views are very liberal or liberal has dipped to 29% from 34% in each of the past two years, while the portion identifying as moderate (31%) remains near a third.

Middle-aged adults are much more socially conservative compared to 2021, Gallup reports, while "there has been a modest increase in conservative social ideology among young adults."

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