Gender Gap

Is 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Sexist?

The military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy seems to have it in for women. As it turns out, women constitute only 15 percent of active-duty and reserve members of the military, but account for one third of the 619 people fired last year under the policy. In the Air Force, the disparity is even worse; women accounted for 20 percent of personnel but 61 percent of the expelled in 2008. A researcher at UC Santa Barbara's Palm Center, a think tank specializing in gender, sexuality, and the military, said the gap could be partially explained if women who enter the service are more likely to be gay than men, or the gap could be the result of "lesbian-baiting" rumors that begin when women rebuff their male colleagues.