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70% of Individuals Believe Sex Should Not Be Altered on Transgender Birth Certificates

The latest British Social Attitudes report shows a marked dip in liberal attitudes on the transgender issue.

The number of people who think a transgender person should not be able to change the sex written on their birth certificate has risen to 70 percent, up from 47 percent in 2019.

The British Social Attitudes report is based on interviews with thousands of people and it showed that while support for abortion and acceptance of same-sex relationships had risen, there had been a marked dip in liberal attitudes on the transgender issue.

The report also found the number of people describing themselves as not prejudiced at all against people who are transgender had fallen to 64 percent, from 82 percent in 2019.

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Scotland became the UK’s first country to back a self-ID process for legally changing gender when it passed The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill in December 2022.

The Bill allowed anyone over the age of 16 to self-ID via a statutory declaration to obtain a new birth certificate, which changes the recording of their registered sex at birth to their chosen gender.

But the UK Parliament immediately blocked the bill, citing “safety issues for women and children.”

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), which compiles the British Social Attitudes report, said views had become much more liberal on sexuality and the role of women in society in the past 40 years.

The attitudes on gender were obtained from interviews conducted with 3,378 adults from across England, Scotland and Wales in September and October 2022.

Gillian Prior, deputy chief executive at NatCen, said, “Changes in moral attitudes undoubtedly constitute the greatest substantive shift in society’s thinking over the past four decades.”

She said: “Attitudes towards families, sexual relations and abortion are often very different now from what they were 40 years ago. That said, we still remain somewhat divided on some of these issues, such as on abortion when there is no concern about the health of either the mother or the baby.”

‘Near-Revolution in Attitudes Over 40 Years’

Sir John Curtice, senior research fellow at NatCen, said: “The vast social changes that Britain has witnessed over the past 40 years have been accompanied by a near-revolution in attitudes towards many social and moral issues, including sexuality and the role of women.”

“In contrast, although they have fluctuated up and down in response to changing political and economic circumstances, attitudes towards inequality and the economic role of the state are still not that different from those of 40 years ago. The debate about these subjects still has a familiar ring to it,” he added.

The report said attitudes towards traditional gender roles had changed—a fifth of the 2,326 people interviewed still felt a pre-school child would be likely to suffer if their mother worked, compared with 46 percent in 1989.

Only 9 percent of those interviewed agreed “a man’s job is to earn money, a woman’s job is to look after the home and family,” down from 48 percent in 1987.

The number of people who believed the law should allow an abortion based on the woman’s choice has risen from 37 percent in 1983 to 76 percent in 2022.

But while 95 percent of people were in favour of abortion when the woman’s health was seriously endangered by the pregnancy, this dropped to 72 percent if the decision was taken simply because a couple cannot afford any more children.

In 1983 half of those questioned believed homosexual relationships were “always wrong,” a figure which has dropped to 9 percent.

There has also been a big drop in the number of people believing children should not be born out of wedlock. In 1989 the figure was 70 percent, while in 2022 it had fallen to 24 percent.

Pre-marital sex was also seen as far more acceptable—78 percent, compared with 42 percent in 1983.

But some attitudes have barely changed at all.

The proportion of people who believed it was “always wrong” to be unfaithful to a spouse remained at 57 percent, almost unchanged from 58 percent in 1983.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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