Nearly half of millennials — those ages 25-34 years old — believe “misgendering” a person should be a criminal offense.
The survey, conducted July 6 by Redfield and Wilson Strategies on behalf of Newsweek, found 44% of millennial respondents think “referring to someone by the wrong gender pronoun (he/him, she/her) should be a criminal offense,” while 31% disagree with the same sentiment. The other 25% of millennial respondents said they “neither agree nor disagree” or “don’t know” their thoughts.
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It is worth noting 38% of those ages 35-44 years old also believe misgendering should be illegal, contrasted against the 35% in that same age demographic who disagree.
Among all Americans, only 19% believe “misgendering” should be a crime with 65% disagreeing.
Of voting-age members of Generation Z — those ages 18-24 years old — only 33% think “misgendering” a person should be illegal, while nearly half (48%) disagree.
Overall, 37% of the 1,500 survey-takers said they would call someone who is male by “she/her” pronouns if asked. Seventeen percent said they would persist in using the pronouns that matched with the individual’s anatomical makeup.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said it “depends on the person” and 17% said they are uncertain what they would do in such a situation.
The new data comes as this issue is causing increased cultural friction in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Earlier this month, a school district in California drew attention for reportedly suspending two high school students over allegations of “misgendering.” The students were forced to undergo a “restorative justice” training.
The alleged suspension and subsequent discipline occurred last year at Herbert Hoover High School, part of the Glendale Unified School District. The issue was brought to light recently by parents concerned about the issue. You can read more on that here.
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