Most people believe children shouldn't be able to define their own gender - poll

(Photo: Unsplash/AaronBurden)

Most people do not believe under 18s should be allowed to define their own gender, a new poll has found.

The survey of 2,000 British adults found that over half (51 per cent) believe young people should not be able to choose their own gender, compared to just one in five who thought they should. 

However, there was greater support when it came to adults, with 44 per cent seeing no problem with over 18s self-defining their gender, compared to only 29 per cent who disagreed. 

Opinions were evenly split when it came to the rights of transgender people to participate in sports competitions as the gender they identify with.  While 35 per cent agreed that they should be allowed to do so, almost the same number (34 per cent) disagreed.  Just under a third (31 per cent) said they did not know. 

Opinions were also mixed when survey participants were asked how they would feel if their children were transgender.  Only one in five said they would be pleased if their child wanted to officially change their gender, compared to 42 per cent who would not.  Forty per cent said it would make no difference to them and 38 per cent said it would make no difference if their child were to receive medical treatment, including surgery, to change gender.

The poll, conducted by ComRes on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage, delved into other aspects of identity and found that nearly a third of all those polled (32 per cent) agreed that people should be allowed to self-define their race.  Nearly one in five (19 per cent) agreed with self-defining age and one in 10 supported the right of people to choose their own species. 

The level of support grew among younger people, with over a third of 18- to 24-year-olds (34 per cent) backing the right of individuals to choose their race, 23 per cent their age and 18 per cent their species.

The findings were released a day before the Government closes its consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act. 

Last month, Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt ordered an inquiry into why there has been a 4,400 per cent rise in the number of girls being referred for transitioning treatment in the UK in the last decade. 

Colin Hart, the Chairman of the Coalition for Marriage, accused the Government of having an 'obsession with pushing transgenderism on all'. 

'There is after all nothing progressive with children who are so ashamed of their bodies that they think they must change gender, something that has risen at an alarming rate in recent years,' he said. 

'This poll shows conclusively that the public remain highly sceptical about the direction of Government policy and want children to be protected from the irreversible treatments such as suppressing puberty with powerful hormones or the removal of genitals.'