Support for Teaching Gender Identity in School Is Split, Even Among Democrats

Americans are deeply split over whether gender identity should be taught in school, according to two polls released this week that underscored the extent of the divide on one of the most contested topics in education.

Many groups, including Democrats, teachers and teenagers, are split on whether schools should teach about gender identity — a person’s internal sense of their own gender and whether it aligns with their sex assigned at birth, according to a survey by researchers at the University of Southern California and a separate survey by Pew Research Center.

But on issues of race, another topic that has fueled state restrictions and book bans, there was broader support for instruction. That extended to some Republicans, the U.S.C. survey found.

The results highlight nuances in the opinion over two of the most divisive issues in public education, even as the American public remains deeply polarized along party lines.

The U.S.C. survey polled a nationally representative sample of nearly 4,000 adults, about half of whom lived with at least one school-age child, and broke responses out by partisan affiliation.

Democrats were by and large supportive of L.G.B.T.Q.-themed instruction in schools, yet were split when it came to addressing transgender issues for younger students in elementary school.

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