UWG Professor Weighs in on Military Issue

Friday, December 3, 2010

A recent study commissioned by the Pentagon that concluded that repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will not disrupt military effectiveness came as no surprise to Daniel Helminiak, a professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.

The study's findings seemed to support efforts to remove the military's policy, which bars openly gay people from serving in the armed forces. Service members were surveyed over a period of months to gauge their views on the issue.

The shift in attitudes reflected in the survey is generational, said Helminiak, who has written extensively on homosexuality.

“It really is no surprise to me that it came out so positively,” Helminiak said.

“I’ve seen, over the years, a shift in the students’ attitudes. The young adults these days have had gay and lesbian friends since their junior high days. They are very comfortable with their sexuality and understand it much better than other generations. They are not afraid of one another. This change is all for the good.”

The survey revealed that two-thirds of the overall force predicted little impact on the military's ability to wage combat if gays were allowed to serve openly.