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Just 23 percent of people who identify as Hispanic or Latino adults have heard of the progressive term “Latinx,” according to a just-released Pew Research survey, which also notes that only 3 percent describe themselves using the word.
The term is used in a gender-neutral manner when Hispanics don’t identify either as “Latino” or “Latina.” But it has mostly gained in popularity among corporations, academic institutions, and Leftist political leaders, Pew notes.
However, despite the term’s rise in certain progressive elitist circles, it hasn’t gained much traction among Latino adults, most of whom don’t even know what it’s for.
The most likely Latinos to use the term are under 30 years old, have a college degree, and self-identify with the Democrat Party. Those who are least likely to use the term are foreign-born Latinos and people who speak Spanish as their primary language.
Pew found that, overwhelmingly, respondents to the survey believe that terms such as “Hispanic” or “Latino” are much more appropriate to use, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
“The emergence of Latinx coincides with a global movement to introduce gender-neutral nouns and pronouns into many languages whose grammar has traditionally used male or female constructions,” the polling firm noted. “In the United States, the first uses of Latinx appeared more than a decade ago. It was added to a widely used English dictionary in 2018, reflecting its greater use.”
That said, “use of Latinx is not common practice, and the term’s emergence has generated debate about its appropriateness in a gendered language like Spanish,” Pew added.
Critics note the origins of Latinx among American English speakers ignore the widespread use of gender in the Spanish language.
Nevertheless, ranking Democrats have adopted the term during the 2020 election cycle, including newly-named vice presidential pick Sen. Kamala Harris of California. But the term remains largely unknown and not widely understood except by college-educated, young people, suggesting that it’s more pertinent to Left-wing political ideologues rather than Hispanics in a broad sense.
That fact that U.S.-born Hispanics are more likely than foreign-born Latinos to use the term (32 percent vs. 16 percent), and that more Hispanics who lean Democrat than Republican (29 percent vs. 16 percent) seem to underscore its political nature, Pew noted.
The low number of Hispanics who self-identify as Latinx or who recognize the term likely reflects the fact that few Americans pay much attention to so-called “gender nonconformity,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.
In all, people who are transgender — to whom such non-conforming terms apply — only represent about 0.5 percent of the U.S. population.
But also, it could be that the term is unpopular among Hispanics who resent seeing English-speakers in America dictating gendered terms for their demographic in much the same way that Black Lives Matter leaders resent white liberals who are infringing on their movement.
Also, since the Spanish language depends heavily on gendered identification, that could also be a source of dissatisfaction with a term that denotes no gender.
That said, among the roughly one-quarter of respondents who’ve heard the term used, one-third of them said they believe “Latinx” should be used to denote the Hispanic population generally, while two-thirds opposed that.
In general, respondents favored the terms “Hispanic” (61 percent) and “Latino” (29 percent) to describe the population; Latinx (4 percent) loses out to even “something else” (5 percent).
Pew’s latest survey lines up with previous polling regarding the term. They, too, indicate that “Latinx” isn’t widely used or even liked among Hispanic Americans.
A “progressive polling firm” released a survey in 2019 noting that just 2 percent of respondents used the term to describe themselves.
Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years' worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.
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