Israeli Study Finds That Openly Gay Servicemembers Do Not Undermine Military Cohesion

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2012

Contact: Laura Rodriguez, lrodriguez@rabengroup.com, (310) 956-2425

LOS ANGELES— The presence of openly gay soldiers does not undermine unit cohesion, according to a new statistical analysis of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) sponsored by the Palm Center and authored by Danny Kaplan of Bar Ilan University and Amir Rosenmann of the University of Haifa. “As we reach the one year anniversary of repeal of the United States military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy, this new study responds to the central concern that an integrated military would harm cohesion,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center.

The authors 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. Israel has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military since 1993.

Prior to the repeal of DADT in September 2011, some military and political leaders predicted that a policy of open service would undermine unit cohesion in the U.S. military.

The new study of the IDF, entitled Unit Social Cohesion in the Israeli Military as a Case Study of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, appears in the current issue of Political Psychology and is available at: http://bit.ly/PAxJI3 

The Palm Center is a research institute committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. For the past decade, the Palm Center’s research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for university-affiliated as well as independent scholars, students, journalists, opinion leaders, and members of the public.

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