Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gays dislike US military?

A couple of weeks ago, OneSTDV explained why he was not surprised by the left's emphatic celebration at the repeal of don't ask, don't tell even though the left is generally hostile towards the military:
The left despises the military and sees our armed forces as a modern incarnation of the rapacious Colonial settlers. Thus, one would seem confused by their excitement over DADT repeal. If we accept the leftism perspective on the military, this basically means that now gays can openly kill oppressed peoples too. Not sure why that's cause for celebration.

Yet, leftism isn't defined by internal consistency - it's defined by convenience and reflexive opposition. As in, the left will champion any discordant ideal as long as the end result undermines some traditional aspect of our nation. Gays don't like the military or the values it reflects [my emphasis]. But because the military represents a bastion of nationalism and traditionalism, leftists want to fundamentally change it into an societal edifice in line with their worldview.
He may have meant to replace the phrase "Gays don't" with "The left doesn't", as that would preserve the same flavor of the rest of the paragraph. But it made me wonder if there is any discernible evidence suggesting that gays dislike the military or its values relative to the rest of society.

The GSS doesn't solicit a moral judgment of the military or its values, but it does consistently query respondents about how much confidence they have in various institutions, the military being one of them. The following table shows the levels of confidence straight, bisexual, and gay men and women have of the military, as well as the level of confidence self-described liberals, moderates, and conservatives have in it. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward:

Confidence:
Much
Some
Little
Conservatives
57.6%
36.7%
5.7%
Straight men
54.6%
36.5%
8.9%
Bi men
54.1%
34.7%
11.3%
Moderates
49.1%
42.2%
8.7%
Gay men
48.0%
43.2%
8.9%
Lesbians
46.1%
37.7%
16.1%
Straight women
45.5%
45.0%
9.6%
Bi women
40.1%
36.1%
23.8%
Liberals
39.0%
43.8%
17.3%

Gay guys are a little less gung-ho than straight and bisexual men are, but the gender divide is more significant. Gay men are right in line with political moderates (both sexes). Somewhat surprisingly, gay women display marginally less confidence in the military than heterosexual women do. This despite the conventional assumption that the gay percentage is far higher among female military personnel than it is in the general population. Bisexual women tend to be self-styled members of the avant garde, however, so their 'leftist' disposition is expected.

It seems more accurate, indeed, to say that leftists, rather than gays, dislike the military and what it stands for.

GSS variables used: NUMMEN(0)(1-950), NUMWOMEN(0)(1-950), SEX(1)(2), YEAR(2000-2008), CONARMY, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7)

3 comments:

TwoYaks said...

Confidence in an institution is very far from moral approval. Now, a lack of confidence may come from disapproval (e.g., "I hate you, and everything about you is crap."), but it can also stem from other factors, such as performance, and current political situations.

For much of this period (2000 onward), the United States has been at war with one country or another. Iraq was a war unpopular with the left, and opinions as to how well it was being executed were divided on political grounds. The right tended to paint a rosy picture even when things had horribly gone to shit, and the left tended to greatly under-estimate any gains being made.

This alone could account for much of the effect shown here. While I don't doubt your premise that there is a political divide in how much one approves of the military as an institution, this data reflects other, more prescient factors.

Audacious Epigone said...

TwoYaks,

Without question, that is a persistent shortcoming with the GSS. Consequently, the data are often suggestive, to a degree that varies on what you read into it.

It does make me wonder about the patterns in confidence by political orientation over time, which is something I'm going to look at soon.

TGGP said...

Commentary from a genuine anti-miltary faggot:
http://whoisioz.blogspot.com/2010/12/feminisntm-or-la-dumb-nikita.html
http://whoisioz.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-gays.html