What explains public opinion toward transgender people, rights, and candidates? Drawing on original data from a national tel- ephone survey of US adults, this study explains attitudes regarding (1) the personal characteristics of transgender people; (2) a variety of transgender rights; and (3) transgender candidates for public office, measured through a randomized experiment included in the survey. Results indicate majority support on most policy questions, but more tepid views of transgender people, and solid opposition to supporting a transgender candidate for office. Our analyses reflect and extend previ- ous research on American public opinion. Respondents’ fundamental values (egalitarianism, moral traditionalism, party identity, ideology, and religiosity) and personality characteristics (need for cognitive clo- sure) predict views of transgender people and support for their rights. A significant relationship also emerged between television use and views of transgender people, suggesting that media portrayals may play.
By Philip Edward Jones et al., 2018