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Homosexuality has become a popular research topic in a variety of professional fields, and over the last decade has become a priority for the military. Since the implementation of the law repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) researchers have questioned what effects repealing this law has had on the military as a whole. Particular attention has been spent on studying the attitudes and stereotypes about homosexuals after DADT was repealed. However, there is a lack of research examining how marriage equality affects society's stereotypes about homosexuals serving in the United States military.

It was hypothesized that participants that have personal contact (friends or family members) with lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals will be less likely to hold negative stereotypes about LGBT serving in the armed forces than those participants who don't have personal contact (friends or family members) with LGBT individuals. The purpose of this research is threefold: 1) reduce discrimination of homosexuals serving in the military 2) help to improve the quality of life for homosexuals serving in the armed forces and 3) improve society by increasing tolerance. Current literature does not provide us with a clear and concise picture of how marriage equality impacts military stereotypes of homosexuals. This study utilized survey-sampling methods in an attempt to understand how opinions about marriage equality affect military stereotypes of gays and lesbians. The results supported the main hypothesis. Participants who had personal contact (friends or family members) with LGBT individuals were in fact less likely to hold negative stereotypes about LGBT serving in the armed forces than those participants who did not have personal contact (friends or family members) with LGBT individuals. One can conclude that marriage equality has helped to reduce society's negative stereotypes about homosexuals serving in the U.S. military.

Publication Date

4-21-2017

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Presented at the Eighth Annual Celebration of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities, Dayton, OH, April 21, 2017.