Experiences of harassment among lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 9:30 a.m. - 9:42 a.m.
Background: Despite the repeal of DADT, concerns about the persistence of harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) service members continue. Methods: A sample of 212 LGB service members (76 women, 136 men) completed an Internet-based survey that assessed experiences of harassment based on sexual orientation (e.g., offensive speech, physical assault) and experiences of unwanted sexual attention (e.g., offensive sexual remarks, forced sex), as well as participation in DoD's anti-harassment training programs and their effectiveness in reducing harassment of sexual minority military personnel. Results: Women and men reported similar levels of harassment in the military, but reported a greater number of incidents involving vandalism and physical assault outside of the military (p<.05). Women reported more incidents of sexual harassment in the military compared to men (ES=.16-.22; p<.05), but neither felt free to report them (<16%). Most (89%) participated in DoD's anti-harassment programs; of those, 54% rated them as effective in reducing harassment in the military while 34% rated them as not at all effective (12% were unsure). Compared to those who rated the programs as ineffective, a greater number of those who rated them effective reported enforcement of penalties for perpetrators, non-tolerance of harassment by commanders, supervisors, and unit members, and a sense of freedom to report incidents. Conclusion: Despite recent policy changes, our findings demonstrate that LGB military members still face a great deal of harassment in the military and point to the need for strong accountability and oversight to protect sexual minority persons in the military.
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe gender differences in experiences of harassment based on sexual orientation and experiences of unwanted sexual attention among lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel
Compare lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members' reports of incidents of harassment in the military and outside of it in their everyday lives
Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Advocacy
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I collaborated with the CHEST team to work on this study and analyze the data being proposed in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.