A new poll finds that a majority of American atheists say gender is not necessarily determined by biological sex.
The Pew Research Center survey released on Monday shows 71 percent of self-identified atheists and agnostics believe someone “can be a man or a woman even if that is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.”
Among those who identify as “nothing in particular,” 57 percent believe someone’s gender can be different than their biological sex.
Religious and secular people are deeply divided on the question of gender identity, the poll shows.
Sixty-three percent of Christians say whether someone is a man or a woman is “determined by the sex they were assigned at birth.” Among Protestants, that figure jumps to 68 percent.
Just 51 percent of Catholics say gender is determined by sex, while 46 percent disagree.
White evangelicals are even more likely to believe sex determines gender, with 84 percent saying that best describes their view. That number falls to 59 percent among black protestants and 55 percent among white mainline protestants.
Nearly one-third, 34 percent, of all Christians say they know someone who is transgender, compared to 50 percent of atheists or agnostics.
Polling released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center found that Americans are also deeply divided over gender identity on partisan lines.
That survey found 80 percent of Republicans or Republican-leaning respondents believe gender is determined by biological sex, compared to just 34 percent of Democrats.
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