Accession Number : ADA331200

Title :   Trends in Navy Officer Attitudes Toward the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Friery, Margaret R.

PDF Url : ADA331200

Report Date : MAR 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 127

Abstract : The current policy concerning homosexuals and military service, commonly called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," has been in place since 1994. The policy states that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service" and draws a distinction between sexual conduct and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is considered a private matter and sexual conduct is an offense punishable by discharge from the military. The purpose of this thesis is to study trends in the attitudes of Navy officers toward homosexuals and officers' understanding of the policy. The research approach was modeled after a 1994 thesis at the Naval Postgraduate School, and it involved two phases: a fifty-question survey distributed to all (approximately 800) Naval officers attending the Naval Postgraduate School; and focus group interviews to explore issues raised in the survey. The results suggest that officers are even more uncertain in 1996 than in 1994 about basic elements of the policy, and they tend to interpret the policy pragmatically, balancing mission requirements against individual needs. Additionally, most officers continue to hold negative opinions about serving with known homosexuals; however, the intensity of their feelings appears to be decreasing. It is recommended that officers attend annual training on the policy to ensure an evenhanded approach in dealing with homosexuals. Further study of the policy is also recommended.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), *MILITARY REQUIREMENTS, *HOMOSEXUALITY, POLICIES, TRAINING, NAVAL PERSONNEL, ATTITUDES(PSYCHOLOGY), MORALE, THESES, MISSIONS, DISCRIMINATION, SEX, ROLES(BEHAVIOR).

Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE