New study examines effectiveness of military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy

April 13, 2007

Since 1980, the Department of Defense has discharged more than 25,000 soldiers and sailors due to homosexuality, including more than 11,000 since the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy was enacted according to a report by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military.

"The U.S. military argues that homosexuals are unfit for service because their presence compromises military readiness and unit cohesion," says Dr. Debbie Knapp, Kent State assistant professor of management and information systems.

In a new study that will be published this year in Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Knapp examines the efficacy of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy. She finds that homosexuals are no more disruptive to military life than their heterosexual counterparts.

"This situation is very similar to the issue that the U.S. military faced during the late 1940's with the integration of blacks and whites," says Knapp.

Approximately 60,000 gays are active in the U.S. military today, according to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military.
-end-
Knapp can be reached at 330-672- 2750 or dknapp1@kent.edu.

Kent State University

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