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Heterosexuality and Military Service

Zachary A. Kramer

Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

May 5, 2010

Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 104, 2010

The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy (DADT) is based on a faulty understanding of the relationship between heterosexuality and military service. DADT is built around the idea that because gay sex disrupts unit cohesion, lesbians and gay men cannot be allowed to serve openly in the military. The policy rests on the idea that gay sex is more harmful to military effectiveness than other kinds of sexual conduct. Yet the military regulates a wide range of heterosexual sexual conduct - from blanket rules against sexual conduct altogether, to criminal laws targeting specific sexual acts and relationships, such as sodomy, adultery, fraternization, and a short-lived criminal law against pregnancy - and these regulations are all designed to protect unit cohesion. This Essay argues that DADT’s focus on homosexuality is misplaced. What the military thinks of as a problem with homosexuality is really a problem with sexual conduct in general.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: Homosexuality, Heterosexuality, Employment, Military, Sex

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Date posted: May 6, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Kramer, Zachary A., Heterosexuality and Military Service (May 5, 2010). Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 104, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600846

Contact Information

Zachary A. Kramer (Contact Author)
Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
Feedback to SSRN

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