Military

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    Transgender Military Service in the United States

    By Gary J. Gates, Jody L. Herman
    May 2014

    An estimated 150,000 transgender individuals have served in the U.S. armed forces, or are currently on active duty. In addition, an estimated 134,000 transgender individuals are veterans or are retired from Guard or Reserve service, 8,800 transgender adults are currently on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, and an estimated 6,700 transgender individuals are serving in the Guard or Reserve forces. Transgender individuals assigned female at birth are nearly three times more likely than all adult women, and those assigned male at birth are 1.6 times more likely than all adult men, to serve.

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    Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members and Veterans in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

    By Jody L. Herman, Jack Harrison-Quintana
    August 2013

    While transgender people serve in the military at a rate double the general population, they nonetheless face discrimination during and after service. Despite the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ this study highlights the ongoing discrimination faced by transgender people who have served in the military. For example, nine percent of those who served reported that they were discharged on account of being transgender or gender non-conforming.

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    Unit Social Cohesion in the Israeli Military as a Case Study of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

    By Danny Kaplan, Amir Rosenmann
    August 2012

    The presence of openly gay soldiers does not undermine unit cohesion, according to a new statistical analysis of the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The study surveyed 417 male Israeli soldiers from 22 military installations. Statistical analysis of responses to the survey indicated that for both combat and non-combat units, the presence of openly gay troops in a unit had no relationship to the cohesiveness of the unit.

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    Discharges Under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy: Women and Racial/Ethnic Minorities

    By Gary J. Gates
    September 2010

    This research brief considers the historic impact of the US military’s “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy on women and racial/ethnic minorities.

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    Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Men and Women in the US Military: Updated Estimates

    By Gary J. Gates
    May 2010

    This research brief uses new data from the American Community Survey and the General Social Survey to provide updated estimates of how many lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGB) are serving in the US military.

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    Testimony on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

    By Gary J. Gates
    July 2008

    In this memo, submitted to a congressional subcommittee, Williams Institute Senior Research Fellow Gary Gates finds that an estimated 65,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces; in the absence of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” (DADT), an additional 41,000 gay and bisexual men might eventually join the military; and the military could expect an additional 3,000 personnel to retain their positions each year if they could serve openly and not be subject to DADT restrictions.

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    Effects of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Retention among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Military Personnel

    By Gary J. Gates
    March 2007

    This research brief quantifies how the United States military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy affects retention rates among lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel.

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    Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S. Military: Estimates from Census 2000

    By Gary J. Gates
    October 2005

    Very little is known about the extent to which gay men and lesbians choose to serve their country through military service. This lack of knowledge contrasts with intense policy debates about the compatibility between homosexuality and service in the United States armed forces.

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