Survey: Most Latino Catholics and Evangelicals Express Belief in Only Two Genders

The percentage of religious Americans affirming the existence of only two gender identities rose from about 59 percent in 2021 to nearly 65 percent this year, with 92 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 66 percent of Latino Catholics supporting the notion.

Based on a recent nonpartisan survey conducted by the independent, nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), the attitudes of religious Americans appear to be potentially shaped by the conservative response against LGBTQ+ communities, which includes the enactment of restrictive laws in numerous conservative-leaning states that curtail their rights.

According to the survey, titled “The Politics of Gender, Pronouns and Public Education,” there was a significant increase in the proportion of Hispanic Catholics who believe in the existence of only two gender identities, rising from 48 percent in 2021 to 66 percent in 2023.

In comparison, Hispanic Protestants, the majority of whom identify as evangelical, experienced a more modest increase, with 79 percent endorsing this view in 2021 and 81 percent in 2023.

In stark contrast, a mere 46 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans concurred, with the share of the latter having increased from just 38 percent in 2021.

The survey of more than 5,000 respondents in the U.S. explores the perspectives of individuals on gender identity, their interactions with the LGBTQ+ community, and their opinions regarding suitable topics for discussion in public schools concerning gender, sexual orientation, and sex education, PRRI said in a June 8 news statement.

“The definition of gender has become a prominent and contentious subject in public discussions, gaining substantial attention from conservative media,” Melissa Deckman, CEO of PRRI, was quoted as saying in the news statement.

 “There is a growing polarization in favor of a binary understanding of gender on a national scale, primarily influenced by political affiliation and media consumption. It is those with the strongest convictions about gender who are leading these discussions.”

Jamie Bruesehoff, a seminary school graduate married to a Lutheran pastor and the parent of a transgender teenager, shared with the news magazine Axios that many faith communities “embrace transgender and nonbinary individuals.”

Bruesehoff, who authored the book, Raising Kids Beyond the Binary: Celebrating God’s Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children, stressed in the June 8 Axios article: “Although there is still progress to be made in advocating for the complete inclusion and fairness for transgender and nonbinary people, our experience represents just one of numerous faith traditions that recognize the divine presence in the diverse range of humanity.”