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In Post-Caitlyn World, More Acceptance of Transgender People Expected: Survey

by Tim Stelloh /  / Updated 

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A majority of Americans believe that the high-profile transition of Caitlyn Jenner will help society become more accepting of transgender people, an NBC News survey found.

Two-thirds of those questioned believe there will be positive change: Twenty percent of respondents in the survey, which was conducted online by SurveyMonkey from June 3-5, said that Jenner’s transition would help "a lot," while 46 percent said it will help “a little.”

Jenner is an Olympic champion and reality show star formerly known to the world as Bruce. Last week, after a Vanity Fair story about Jenner appeared online, she became the most searched item on Google, and her Twitter profile gained more than one million followers in four hours, topping a record previously held by Barack Obama.

The survey found that more than three-quarters of Americans believe that transgender people face negative social judgment. Forty-five percent of respondents said they face “a lot,” and 37 percent said they face “some.”

Sixty-six percent of respondents who identified as LGBT believed that transgender people face “a lot” of negative judgment, and 90 percent believe that Jenner’s transition will help make people more accepting.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to believe that the transition will not promote acceptance — 45 percent to 21 percent — and nearly half of Americans said that in a decade, society will be “a little” more accepting of transgender people. Twenty-nine percent said people would be “a lot” more accepting.

The NBC News Online Survey was conducted among a national sample of 2,153 adults aged 18 and over. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in the SurveyMonkey Audience panel.

Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. A full description of our methodology can be found here.

The survey was produced by the Analytics Unit of NBC News in conjunction with Penn's Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies with data collection and tabulation conducted by SurveyMonkey. Analysis by the University of Pennsylvania's Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies.

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