Nearly half the population does not believe teenagers who wish to transition should be given puberty blockers, according to a new Newstalk poll.
The Amárach research found that a similar proportion of people do not believe children should be offered gender affirming care, such as counselling and hormone replacement treatment.
The survey finds that 49% of people believe teens who wish to transition should not have access to puberty blockers, while 27% do and 24% don’t know or would prefer not to say.
Of the 27% who believe the blockers should be available, 21% said this should only be the case with parental consent.
Meanwhile, 47% of people believe teens who wish to transition should not have access gender affirming care such as counselling and hormone replacement treatment.
Some 38% said the treatments should be available – although eight in ten of those believed this should only be the case with parental consent.
Some 15% said they did not know or would prefer not to say.
The results were revealed on The Hard Shoulder with Kieran Cuddihy this evening.
Kieran said the survey was important to carry out, “because there are such strongly-held views out there when it comes to trans rights and they tend to be the loudest views – particularly online”.
“If you go on to X, the platform formally known as Twitter, you would be forgiven for thinking there are only two types of people in this debate,” he said.
“There are out-and-out trans allies or there are transphobes and there is nobody in between – but the reality is, I think most people are somewhere in between.
“Our survey reveals a little bit of that.”
'Empathy and an open mind'
Kieran said "it costs nothing" to use people's preferred pronouns, while it can make a big difference in a transgender person's life.
He also said, however, the debate becomes more complex when it comes to minors who wish to transition or when transgender people want to take part in sport.
“This is why I am really interested in these findings and why I am really interested in talking to people,” he said.
“I think the easiest thing in the world for someone like me to do is to kind of bang the table and take a forceful line and video clips go viral and people either jump all over it or they denigrate me to Kingdom Come.
“I think the best approach actually is just to listen to people and maybe that sounds a bit boring but I think it is the adult approach, I think to maybe approach this with a little bit of empathy and an open mind and talk to people about their own experience – and that is what we are going to try and do.”
The survey also found that 40% of people do not believe transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in the gender they identify with.
One-third of people (33%) said it depends on the sport, while 11% said they should be allowed to compete in their preferred gender.
Just over half (51%) the respondents said people should only use the toilets or other “gendered spaces” of their biological sex at birth.
One-quarter (25%) said they should be allowed to use whatever space they choose and 16% said all traditionally gendered spaces should be gender neutral.
The majority of people polled (34%) agreed that transgender people face “a lot” of discrimination in Ireland, while 33% said they face “some” discrimination.
The majority of people (52%) said putting in your pronouns in official communications such as email sign offs is an “individual choice”, while 34% said no one should put their pronouns in communications.
The poll surveyed 1,000 people, 98% of which identified as the gender of their biological sex at birth.
‘If you would like have your opinion heard and take part in a Newstalk Amarach poll, visit amarachpanel.com/nt for more information.’