Women do not support attempts to ban transgender women from the female toilets, polling has found.

Across the US, states have seen a wave of Republican-backed ‘bathroom bills’ aimed at rolling back LGBT rights protections – which are marketed as a measure to secure “safety” for women by banning transgender people from public toilets.

There’s just one slight hitch in those spurious “women’s safety” arguments – it turns out that they don’t actually work on women.

Polling this week from Pew Research Center shows that a majority of women support trans people being able to use the restroom of their chosen gender, with 55% in favour and 40% against.

On the flipside, men are apparently more concerned about “women’s safety” than actual women, supporting discrimination against trans people by a margin of 52% to 40%.

It’s almost as if women can see when they’re being exploited as a political bargaining chip to attack a minority group.

Young people – who separate polling shows are far more likely to actually know a transgender person – are also more likely to see through the ‘bathroom debate’, with 67% supporting trans bathroom rights.

Despite the media focus on the bathroom issue, many of the GOP bills in state legislatures simply use it as a thin coating to disguise more broad anti-LGBT legislation.

Many of the proposed laws advertised as ‘bathroom bills’ also pare back anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, with some including opaque ‘freedom to discriminate’ clauses snuck through under the bathroom bigot banner.

A recent investigation found the fingerprints of the Liberty Counsel – the hardline evangelical law firm that represents anti-gay clerk Kim Davis – on many of the bills.

The group admitted helping Republican lawmakers draft ‘bathroom’ legislation in a number of states.