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Campus Department of Education Free Speech Office for Civil Rights Press Release Sex Education Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX

63% of Americans Oppose Expanding Definition of Sex to Include ‘Gender Identity’

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Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


63% of Americans Oppose Expanding Definition of Sex to Include ‘Gender Identity’

WASHINGTON / June 6, 2022 –  A new survey reveals that nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose the Department of Education’s plan to expand its long-standing definition of sex to include “gender identity” (1). The national survey, conducted for SAVE by YouGov, also shows that strong majorities of Americans reject other proposed changes to Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools.

Following are respondents’ responses to the six survey questions, among those who offered an opinion:

  1. Definition of Sex:
  • Keep traditional biological definition: 63%
  • Expand the definition to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity:” 37%
  1. Transgender Participation in Women’s Sports:
  • Allow: 29%
  • Not allow: 71%
  1. Parental Consent Prior to School Counseling about Gender Dysphoria:
  • Require parental consent prior to counseling: 61%
  • Not require parental consent: 39%
  1. Parental Opt-out for Children’s Participation in Sex Education Classes:
  • Allow parental opt-out: 69%
  • Not allow parental opt-out: 31%
  1. Presumption of Innocence or Guilt for College Disciplinary Hearings:
  • Presumption of innocence: 87%
  • Presumption of guilt: 13%
  1. Definition of Sexual Harassment:
  • Retain current definition to protect free speech: Conduct that is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the victims’ educational experience that the victim-students are effectively denied equal access to an institution’s resources and opportunities:” 57%
  • Expand the current definition to discourage persons from saying things that may be unwelcome or upsetting: 43%

Overall, males and females gave similar responses, with the exception of Question 6. While 66% of males preferred to retain the current definition of sexual harassment, 53% of females indicated a preference to expand the definition of sexual harassment to discourage statements that may be unwelcome or upsetting.

For all six questions, 17-24% of all persons responded, “No opinion/Don’t know.” The “No opinion/Don’t know” responses were excluded from the results presented above. The full survey results and cross-tabulations can be viewed online (2).

All data are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,566 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between May 31 to June 2, 2022.  The survey was conducted online. The data have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (ages 18+). Response options were randomly switched to minimize primacy-recency effects.

Nearly 90 groups have expressed opposition to the draft Title IX regulation (3), which is expected to be issued later in June. SAVE urges concerned persons to speak out to assure the upcoming Title IX regulation conforms to the opinions of a majority of Americans.

Contact Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, telephone (202) 401-3000; fax (202) 260-7867; email