The Public Religion Research Institute says in a new survey analysis that Americans are largely divided on the use of gender-neutral pronouns.
According to the survey, among all Americans, about 36 percent said they would be comfortable if they learned a friend used gender-neutral pronouns, while about 43 percent said they would feel uncomfortable.
Gender-neutral pronouns include the use of “they” instead of “he” or “she” to refer to a person who identifies as non-binary and neither male nor female.
Among Christians, however, the percentage of those comfortable with gender-neutral pronouns stayed low, Relevant Magazine reports.
Just 20 percent of White Evangelical Protestants said they were comfortable with friends using such pronouns. The percentage was slightly higher among White mainline, non-evangelical Protestants and white Catholics, with 35 percent and 31 percent saying they were comfortable with friends using gender-neutral pronouns, respectively.
The only exception was Jewish Americans, where 50 percent said they would be comfortable learning that a friend uses gender-neutral pronouns.
Among Hispanic Protestants, 26 percent said they were comfortable with the pronouns, while about 34 percent of Hispanic Catholics said the same. Among Black Protestants and other Protestants of color, about 35 percent expressed comfort with gender-neutral pronouns.
When asked how they would feel if they learned a friend was using pronouns that do not match their perceived gender, 20 percent of White Evangelical Protestants, 36 percent of White mainline/non-evangelical Protestants, 31 percent of White Catholics, 30 percent of Hispanic Protestants, 34 percent of Hispanic Catholics, and 35 percent of Black Protestants and other Protestants of color said they would be comfortable.
The Public Religion Research Institute also looked at how Americans feel about discussing same-sex romantic relationships in public schools. Some 34 percent of Americans said it was never appropriate, with 55 percent of Republican respondents saying the same.
The largest group opposed to those discussions were white evangelical Christians (62 percent).
“I think for Americans who come from more conservative theologies, there’s great discomfort with using pronouns that don’t necessarily match someone’s perception of someone’s physical appearance,” Melissa Deckman, CEO of the institute, told Axios.
Deckman added that, in many cases, younger people tend to be more accepting of gender-neutral pronouns. In another poll from 2022, about 54 percent of Latino respondents said they supported someone’s right to choose their gender identity.
A 2021 study found that some 1.2 million U.S. adults identify as nonbinary.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.