Half of all Millennials believe that gender exists on a spectrum, and shouldn’t be limited to the categories of male and female, according to Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll, which surveyed 1,000 people aged 18-34 about everything from politics to dating to race issues.
The findings suggest young people are moving away from a binary conception of gender, a major shift from previous generations. (For full results and methodology, click here.)
Some subsets of Millennials are even more progressive on the issue: 57 percent of female Millennials believe that gender falls on a spectrum, according to the poll, compared with 44 percent of men. And Millennials in the Northeast were even more likely to say so, at 58 percent. (In the South, that number fell to 42 percent.)
The poll found that race created substantial differences on views of gender identity.
White Millennials were the most likely to support the concept of a non-binary gender system — 55 percent of whites said gender is on a spectrum, compared to 47 percent of Latinos and 32 percent of African Americans.
Some countries, such as India, recognize a third gender. In the U.S., there’s no such federal policy. But some cities have created ID cards that work for municipal services and do not include gender. San Francisco and Oakland both have municipal ID cards that don’t specify gender at all.
Young people entering universities today are also more likely to see gender-neutral restrooms, ID cards, and on-campus housing options.
Students at San Francisco State University, for example, have housing options that include “other gender-identity roommate pairings, regardless of biological sex.”
And Colorado College in 2013 made national headlines when a job seeker complained the job application asked applicants to check one of five genders: “not disclosed,” “male,” “female,” “transgender,” or “queer.”
Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 18 to 34, with a general population sample and an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points. The interviews were conducted via telephone from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11. For more on our methodology and poll results, click here.