Survey: More Brits oppose option to change legal sex

Public opposition has grown to allowing those who claim to be the opposite sex to change their sex on their birth certificate.

The 2021 British Social Attitudes survey, which comprised 6,250 interviews with adults in Britain, found that opposition had risen from 24 per cent in 2019 to 39 per cent in 2021.

The shift in views follows increasing recognition of the long term effects of ‘sex changes’ particularly in relation to vulnerable young people and women’s safety.


In response to the question, “A person who is transgender should be able to have the sex recorded on their birth certificate changed if they want?”, support had also plummeted from 53 per cent in 2019 to 32 per cent in 2021.

When participants were asked about “attempts to give equal opportunities” to those who claim to be the opposite sex, 33 per cent said they had “gone too far”.

Sir John Curtice, Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research, which published the survey, highlighted that the issue of changing legal sex has become more prominent in the media over the last few years.


The shift in opinion follows numerous high profile examples of the impact of radical transgender ideology in recent years.

In 2020, detransitioner Keira Bell brought legal action against NHS England’s Gender Identity Development Service, based at the Tavistock Centre in London, in an attempt to protect children from being prescribed experimental transgender drugs. The service is now set to close after an independent report found it was not fit for purpose.

In 2021, JK Rowling revealed that she had “received so many death threats I could paper the house with them” from transgender activists wanting to intimidate her from speaking up for “women’s sex-based rights”. Earlier this year, an Employment Tribunal found that Maya Forstater had been subject to both “direct discrimination” and “victimisation” by her employer for defending the reality of biological sex.

In sport, international bodies for cycling, swimming, and rugby league have all recently strengthened rules to protect women from injury by male-bodied athletes after reviewing their transgender policies.


The survey comes as Westminster is seeking legal advice over the implications of the Scottish Government’s plans to allow people to self-identify their legal sex on the the rest of the UK.

If passed, the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill would allow Scots as young as 16 to change their legal sex.

Following the announced closure of NHS England’s Gender Identity Development Service by next spring, campaigners have called for the Glasgow’s Sandyford gender clinic to also be shut down.

The Scottish Government has ordered the NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland to report on the clinic by the end of next year, but detransitioner Sinead Watson said: “This should have happened years ago.”

Also see:


Serial male sex offender sentenced to women’s prison

Detransitioners suffered stigma from medics, Canadian study shows

Scot Govt will ‘hand men key to women’s rights’ under gender self-ID Bill

Related Resources