More women than men are discharged under DADT

Although women make up only 15 percent of the military's active-duty and reserves, one-third of the 619 discharged soldiers this year under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy were women.
Julianne H. Sohn was the lone female Marine officer discharged under the policy last year. She was a lieutenant who had served a seven-month tour in Iraq as a reservist when she received a telephone call at home from a lieutenant colonel informing her she was under investigation for being a lesbian. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Julianne H. Sohn was the lone female Marine officer discharged under the policy last year. She was a lieutenant who served a seven-month tour in Iraq as a reservist when she received a telephone call at home from a lieutenant colonel informing her she was under investigation for being a lesbian. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A new study shows more women have been discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which discriminates against open gays and lesbians serving in the military, than men.

Government statistics released Thursday show that although women make up only 15 percent of the military’s active-duty and reserves, one-third of the 619 discharged soldiers this year were women.

Many professionals like Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, are speculating that these statistics prove the military still holds a bit of sexism.

“It’s very clear the military comes down harder on women than on men, but the question of whether they come down harder on lesbians than on gay men is harder to answer,” said Belkin, whose center specializes in the study of gays and lesbians in the military. “We don’t know whether the statistics reflect lesbian-baiting or just a higher rate of lesbians in the military.”

Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the Pentagon is not allowed to investigate on the matter because it may break the DADT policy.

“If we did investigate it, we would have to ask questions, and we aren’t supposed to ask any questions,” Smith said.

To read more about this story, visit the Associated Press.

— Simon Husted

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