Who gets discharged by DADT

Some researchers have analyzed the military’s pattern of who gets discharged under DADT and the results are that it is quite disproportional to the overall demographics of the military:

Women account for 14 percent of Army soldiers but received 48 percent of the Army’s “don’t ask” discharges in 2009, the study said. Six percent of the Marine Corps is female, but women accounted for 23 percent of its discharges. The Navy discharged only two officers for violating the policy in 2009, and both were Asian. The Army discharged five officers — two were black, one was Asian and two were white, the Palm Center said.

I don’t doubt for a second that this policy is used disproportionately against those who do not meet the military’s stereotypical ideal: white and male.   That said, at least when it comes to gender, I do wonder just how disproportionate it is.  Though many gay men certainly serve as fine soldiers, we all know that the military’s homophobic culture is not exactly the most welcoming place for a gay man and the vast majority self-select out.  On the other hand, I wonder if lesbian women feel less threatened by the military’s anti-gay culture and are thus more willing to serve.  Obviously, it’s pretty impossible to get data on this, but my supposition is that relative to their proportions in the general population gay men are under-represented in the military and gay women are over-represented.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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