I rarely post follow-up articles, but some of my reader’s comments about DADT gave me cause for pause and reflection.
One of the hidden, or unmentioned, problems in this issue, is the fact that men and women — for the most part — are not just different physically, but vastly different emotionally, psychologically and sexually. But that’s never mentioned or taken into account when referring to the pros and cons of gays in the military, whether they be open, closed or under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Polls taken throughout the U.S. indicate that the majority of Americans, in general, see no problem with gays openly serving in the service. That’s true. But that’s asking an intellectual question of a population base from which many (or even most) have no experience in dealing with military.
The poll results change somewhat when the polls are taken from military personnel currently serving. In 2006, a Zogby Poll of active military personnel indicate that 26 percent were in favor of gays serving, while 37 percent were opposed, and 37 percent were unsure/no opinion. What none of these polls discern are the views held by male as opposed to female service members. Bear in mind, that males comprise 86 percent of the current military service.
Polls would be more significant ( and revealing) if questions were asked in two polls; one of women only, and the other, men only. That’s not being sexist, that’s gleaning true opinions that matter.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the woman’s outlook would be enormously variant from that of men. Gay women in the military have been openly accepted and welcomed, despite the DADT caveat. My best guess (and that’s all it can be) is that 85 to 90 percent of women would vote to repeal DADT. No problem.
Not so with males. I think it would be starkly different if the poll was of men only. My best guess (which is all it can be) is that the male service members would vote to keep DADT by a margin of 70 to 80 percent or better, and not accept homosexuality in the open within military ranks of men.
Why is that?
First, the sexes have physiological differences that manifest in close and intimate quarters.
Secondly, and more profound, many straight males feel uncomfortable — and sometimes threatened — by the presence of gays in an intimate setting (showers, beds, etc.) Whereby, women do not feel so uncomfortable or threatened.
Thus, the polls are skewed by lumping all military members, without breaking out the sexes. Considering that 86 percent of military is men, they should have a voice. Perhaps Gallup, Zogby or Rasmussen would like to take that on.
I appreciate all your comments on this subject. I’d recommend that readers open the original blog and view some of the comments, especially the valuable information tidbits by Darrell, Jack Milavic and Dr. Marlowe, all of whom have extensive military backgrounds. Also, Ashley has some counter views that everyone might want to read.
Thanks to all.
(Here’s the original article with comments)