ST. LOUIS – In August, 900 likely Missouri voters were asked about issues facing the Missouri LGBTQ community as a part of the 2023 SLU/YouGov Poll. At least 63% of voters think that transgender children shouldn’t be able to get medical care like hormone therapy, drugs that stop puberty, or surgery that changes their gender.

Governor Parson signed the “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experiment (SAFE) Act” in June. This law makes it illegal for doctors to perform gender transition surgeries on children and for them to use cross-sex hormones or drugs that stop puberty.

Most of the people who voted in Missouri agreed with these parts of the SAFE Act:

  • 73% of Missouri voters were against letting minors have “gender-affirming surgery.”  
  • 63% were against letting minors get “gender transition medical care” like hormone therapy or medicine that can briefly stop the effects of puberty.

Steven Rogers, Ph.D., is the director of the SLU/YouGov Poll and an associate professor of political science at SLU. He said that Missourians are definitely in favor of limiting medical care for children who want to change their gender. But they don’t totally disagree with caring for kids based on their gender.

  • 44% of voters were in favor of letting children get gender-affirming counseling.
  • 44% were against it.

How Schools Handle Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity  

Some Republican lawmakers want to limit the number of sexually explicit books and other materials that children can get from libraries and schools.

The August 2023 SLU/YouGov Poll found:

  • 33% of Missouri voters want to ban “books with stories about gay or lesbian youth” from public schools.
  • 38% want to ban “books with stories about transgendered youth.”

Voters in Missouri also want schools to be able to talk about sexual orientation.

  • 56% of voters want high school kids to talk about sexual orientation in public schools.   
  • 38% think they should happen in middle schools.
  • 18% think such talks should happen in elementary schools.

Findings are the same when it comes to letting public schools talk about gender identity:  

  • 51% of voters want high school students to talk about gender identity in public schools, but only 
  • 34% of voters want this to happen in middle schools.
  • 19% of voters want this to happen in elementary school.

The August 2023 SLU/YouGov Poll gave a picture of how Missouri voters feel about these important topics, showing both where they agree and where they disagree. As society changes, these views give us a good idea of how the public in the state feels and what they want when it comes to LGBTQ issues. To see the complete poll, visit the August 2023 SLU/YouGov Poll.