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24th Mar 2023

Nearly a quarter of Gen Z now identify using a non-gendered pronoun study finds


Almost half state their pronoun on their email signatures and social profiles

Nearly a quarter of Gen Z now identify using a non-gendered pronoun such as ‘they/them’, according to a study.

The survey of 2,036 people found that younger generations are eagerly embracing issues around birth sex and gender identification.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of those polled aged 18-24 now state their pronoun on their email signature or social profiles.

The practice is intended as an act of solidarity with people who do not identify with their birth sex – but many see it as virtue-signalling.

Overall, nearly half (45 per cent) of those polled were supportive of people having the right to identify with a gender other than their birth sex, with 34 per cent against and 19 per cent undecided.

But older generations are increasingly dismayed by the creep of gender identification into everyday life, the study by OnePoll found.

Overall, the majority of the British public think the debate has gone too far, with 62 per cent saying the issue is now “disproportionately” represented in public discourse.

This rises to 78 per cent among the over-65s but falls to 48 per cent of Gen Z (those aged 18 to 24).

A similar overall majority (63 per cent) think British institutions are over-reacting to sensitivities around pronouns.

This sentiment peaks in those aged 55 to 64 (79 per cent) and falls to just 33 per cent among 18 to 24 year-olds, of whom 44 per cent think it is proportionate.

There is opposition among older generations to the removal of pronouns in such phrases as ‘Gingerbread Man’ in favour of ‘Gingerbread person’.

More than half (55 per cent) of those aged over 45 think the English language should not be changed to “due to the preferences of a niche group of people”.

But this falls to a third (33 per cent) among younger generations (aged 18 to 44), and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) think such changes are needed to “keep up with the times”.

More than half (52 per cent) of 18-24 year-olds are supportive of customer-facing workers being given the option to state their chosen pronoun on name badges, but that falls to just 16 per cent among those over 55.

Across all age groups, there is widespread sympathy for those who ‘misgender’ transgender people as the BBC’s Alex Jones did during an interview with the pop star Sam Smith, with 47 per cent saying it is “understandable”.

But 38 per cent agree that a person who identifies as they/them has a right to be offended when someone doesn’t pronoun them correctly, rising to 65 per cent among 18-24-year-olds.

But when it comes to schools, there is a clear generational divide in how the issue should be handled. Six in 10 Gen Z agree that schools should do more to educate children on the use of non-binary pronouns, but only 20 per cent of those 65 and over think the same.

Harry Gove, Research Director at OnePoll, said: “Our findings show a clear generational divide among the British public when it comes to the subject of gender identity.

“Those aged 18-24 in particular are much more accepting of new ideas in this area, which older respondents may be less sure about.”

Related links:

Eddie Izzard officially changes name on passport to new feminine name

Jamie Lee Curtis talks about degendering Oscar categories as she wins first-ever Academy Award

High school girls team forfeits tournament rather than playing against transgender player

Noel Gallagher misgenders Sam Smith and labels them a ‘f***ing idiot’