We need to reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Debate Rounds (4)
In the year after the repeal of don't ask don't tell, a survey was conducted of military personnel on the issue of sexual assaults. The survey showed that there were 26,000 sexual assaults, 14,000 of those were male on male homosexual. This represents over 50% of the total despite the fact that it is estimated that only 2% of the military is homosexual. These findings were initially published in liberal GQ Magazine as well as the Washington Post, a liberal newspaper.
Additionally a study conducted in 2015 by the American Psychological Association, by no means a conservative organization, concluded that the male on male homosexual assaults are being under reported by a factor of 15 times. The APA concluded that the actual number of male on male homosexual assaults could number as many as 180,000, which includes 60,000 actual rapes.
When you add in the under reported homosexual assaults, the percentage of sexual assaults in the Military committed by homosexual men skyrockets to over 90% of the total sexual assaults being perpetrated by only 2% of the Military. These numbers represent an epidemic problem. The skyrocketing of the homosexual sexual assaults coincides with the lifting of the ban. The reinstatement of the ban is crucial to eliminating this problem.
While those who proposed ending the ban on gays serving openly in the Military were well-intentioned, it is clear from the statistics that the lifting of the ban has created an epidemic of male on male homosexual assaults. All-Americans, whether they be heterosexual or homosexual deserve to have an Military that is able to operate in an nonsexual environment. It is imperative that we reinstate the ban on gays serving in the Military so that the Military can focus on the primary mission of protecting our country.
The point of this example is to solidify the idea that homosexuals are not inherently unfit for combat. Many gay military units have been incredibly successful. Many gay soldiers have fought incredibly bravely. The denial of the privilege of serving in the military based on the actions of mentally unstable sex offenders is ridiculous.
Also, gays will remain in the military regardless of whether they are officially homosexual. The only real change we can experience at this point onward is official. If the bill is reinstated, gays will stay in the military -- except, instead of being open about their homosexuality, they will remain in the closet and not come out about it. This will create increased tension between suspected gays and their friends and comrades in the military. There won"t be that much actual positive change, but there will be more distrust and tension. Even before DADT, gays joined the military and lied about their sexual orientation.
As previously mentioned, the problem with sexual assault is not caused directly by homosexuality but from problems with mental instability, lack of control of one"s emotions, uncontrolled anger, and hunger for power. And the problem with sexual assault in the military is not exactly new -- it has been going on long before gays were officially integrated. Rather than blame the whole problem of sexual assault on gays, we should focus on two primary elements of the solution to sexual assault: mental help for both the victim and offender (as well as mental screening for new recruits), and reporting and enforcing the actual crime.
Frankly, the link between sexual assault and the DADT policy is not even concretely proven. The rate of official sexual assaults has also risen in the male to female category -- because, in general, these crimes are being reported more. The military is beginning to crack down on the crimes, rather than let them slide, causing more official crimes to be reported and recorded. There is not necessarily a link between the repeal of the DADT policy and a rise in sexual assaults. Many of the male-male sexual crimes are not perpetrated by gays. And, according to officials at the Pentagon, the cause of the apparent increase in sexual assaults was not the DADT.
Ultimately, regardless of their sexual orientation, sexual predators commit crimes. Rather than use gays as a scapegoat, we need to focus on the larger problem of sexual assault in the military and crack down on it.
What we agree on
You have done an excellent job in your response. There are many things that we agree upon, so let me start there. As I stated in my original argument "Let me first acknowledge that homosexuals Americans, like all Americans, are patriotic and love their country ". Let me also agree with your statement "Many gay soldiers have fought incredibly bravely".
There is also no disagreement that "the problem with sexual assault is not caused directly by homosexuality but from problems with mental instability, lack of control of one"s emotions, uncontrolled anger, and hunger for power". I'm in full agreement with the two sources you cited regarding sexual assaults.
These problems are not unique to homosexuals, they can and do also occur in Military situations where heterosexual men and women are in close quarters.
What is interesting, but not especially relevant?
I also have read about the "Sacred Band of Thebes". Like all military folklore, there is probably some truth as well as some exaggeration involved. If I wanted to be sarcastic I would point out as you did, that ultimately they died, which is not really the goal of the military, however, I am sure they fought bravely.
In any event, I do not believe that you are proposing that we should form separate squads of composed of gay lovers, and I am not aware of any modern Military expert who is proposing this, so lets move on to the next point.
We also agree on the numbers
We also agree on the number of sexual assaults, and the breakdown of male on male assaults, as well as male on female assaults. Both your sources as well as mine, site the original reports from the Department of Defense showing that 14,000 of the 26,000 reported assaults were male on male.
I have copied the following directly from your media matters source.
"In May 2013, the Department of Defense released its "Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military" for fiscal year 2012 which found that 26,000 service members were victims of sexual assault that year, 14,000 of which were male and 12,000 female.
What you failed to respond to
More staggering than the Department of Defense figures, are those reported by the American Psychological Society. I have highlighted their findings below,
"Male-on-male rape in the military is 15 times more prevalent than the Pentagon are reporting, according to a new study "
" The report was released by the American Psychological Association
" The findings are based on responses of 180 anonymous combat veterans
" Pentagon's most recent report said 12,000 men reported being sexually assaulted, with almost 4,000 saying they had been raped
" But according to the studies rate, the true figure could be as high as 180,000 sexual assaults, including 60,000 rapes
The American Psychological Association, is by no means a conservative organization. I am certain they would have liked for their findings to be more "gay friendly", but to their credit they reported their findings accurately. I would hope you would respond to their findings in your round three response.
Why the "Don"t ask, Don"t tell" policy was necessary in the first place.
In debate round two, I highlighted the problems that have occurred in the military since the repeal of don"t ask don"t tell. In this round I want to explain why the policy was necessary in the first place.
The reason that the military established the long held policy that homosexuality is incompatible with military service is because they understood the problems associated with introducing sexuality into the military environment. The military, is a unique institution, where there is no room for sexual issues, they only distract from the mission. In the military you have men serving alongside other men, and women with women, in very close quarters, for long periods of time. This is true in boot camp, barracks, bunkers, ships and submarines, among other situations. They are together 24/7, sleeping along side each other and showering together, etc.
It is not possible to turn off one's sexual desires at the door. In situations where people are attracted to the people they serve along side with, it is inevitable that sexual tensions, relationships, and assaults will occur. This is true of both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
This is why they segregate the men from the women at basic training. They do not want the heterosexual soldiers to be distracted by sexual attractions, sexual tensions and sexual relationships that would occur if they trained together, share barracks, and showers etc. If heterosexual men and women shared the same barracks there would be an epidemic of male on female sexual assaults. However, the Military understands this, which is why they separate the men and women.
When you mix sexuality into the military environment, the potential for problems is very real.
One example of a problem would be when a commanding officer needs to make a decision to send a soldier into an especially dangerous situation; the commanding officer needs to make the best decision for the entire squad. However, if a commanding officer is in love with the man who he outranks, he cannot be expected to make an objective decision. Who would? I would not want to send the person I love into a dangerous situation.
Another issue is what happens when two gays are in love, and then they break up, right at the time of an important mission? This type of drama is fine in civilian situations, but in in the Military, this is a distraction. These are just a few reasons why the Military in the past has correctly avoided mixing military service with sexual attraction
In addition to these problems, you add in the staggering amount of sexual assaults that have occurred in the Military by men on other men (see debate round 2), and you have enormous distractions to the basic Military mission of winning Wars.
By its very definition, introducing homosexuals into an environment where they are attracted to other soldiers opens the door for all these problems.
There is really no practical way to segregate gay men from the object of their desires. Having gay men serve alongside other men opens the door to all the sexual problems. Having them serve alongside women is impractical. This is why the Military established the ban on gays in the first place.
All the problems that have occurred since the ban was lifted have shown that the original policy was appropriate and necessary. This is not meant to be a knock on homosexuals who love their Country; it is just a realization of the reality that sexuality and Military service do not mix.
Let me explain my reason for adding the ancient example of a gay military force. My opponent stated that, and I quote, "the long held Military principle that homosexuality is fundamentally incompatible with Military service remains correct." This is a counterexample to that. By providing an example of an elite gay military force, I am attempting to refute my opponent"s argument that gays are inherently unfit for military service.
As my opponent stated, we agree on several issues and opinions, quite possibly the most important one being that male-on-male rape is not always perpetrated by homosexuals. Many times, heterosexual men rape other men. Why, then, should we punish the gay servicemen for a problem that is not entirely their fault?
http://laurelhouse.org.au... << my source for the statement that male-on-male rape is often perpetrated by heterosexuals
Let me be clear: I am not arguing that the vast majority of the sexual crimes in the military are not committed by gays, but it should be noted that gays are not the only source of the problem.
The instigator asked me to reply to the statistics he posted surrounding the numbers of rape victims. I will do so. I"m sorry if I wasn"t clear in my opening argument.
The statistics are startling. But part of the reason that they appear that high is that the military has begun to crack down more on sexual abuse. It is being reported more, causing an increase in official rates of abuse. And if my opponent truly believes that mental instability, rather than homosexuality, is the cause of these sexual assaults, he might realize that these statistics do not really prove his point.
Also, according to CNN, the number of total sexual assault cases in the military has decreased by around 27% in the last two years -- not increased. The study in 2016 estimated that 18.9 thousand soldiers were victims of "unwanted sexual contact," compared to 26 thousand in 2014. The more recent study showed that a larger percentage of people were willing to admit that they had been sexually assaulted, which could indicate that the decline in rape/sexual assault cases is accurate.
My opponent also stated that the emotional impact of sending one"s lover into combat would impact one"s judgement negatively, and because of this, gays were incompatible with the military. However, commanders already often send their friends and family members on missions involving danger. How much would this really change things?
Again, I want to compliment my opponent on his skill and conduct. He is one of the most intelligent and agile debaters I have so far, on or off of DDO.
Mutual Admiration Society
Thank you for your kind words concerning my debate skills. I certainly feel the same about you. When I instigated this debate I was hopeful that whoever accepted the challenge would argue their side strongly and passionately, I have not been disappointed. I believe we have each benefited from having a strong debate opponent, it has forced us both to up our games.
I wanted to respond to a few of your specific arguments and then move on to closing arguments.
"Let me be clear: I am not arguing that the vast majority of the sexual crimes in the military are not committed by gays, but it should be noted that gays are not the only source of the problem."
We both agree that gays are not the only source of the problem, but we also both agree that they are responsible for the vast majority of sexual crimes in the military. I realize that a small portion of the sexual assaults may fall into the category of hazing, however, I believe common sense dictates that not many heterosexual men engage in homosexual assaults.
In any event, the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy prohibited "homosexual acts", under discharge code 257. As a result it really does not matter if the person committing the male on male assault identifies as, or admits to being homosexual, the engagement in a homosexual act itself was grounds for discharge.
You had also indicated
" commanders already often send their friends and family members on missions involving danger"
This is not correct, while brothers can serve together they can not be of different ranks. The military established this rule to avoid the conflict of interests that would exist between brothers, this would apply also to homosexuals. I have listed the link below where that question was asked, and then answered by MSgt Jim Hall USMC (Ret.).
Question: Can two brothers be in the Marines at the same time?
I am thinking about joining the Marines (probably through OCS) while my brother will be enlisting at the end of this year. Other than the two of us there are no children in the family.
Answer: Second, yes, you and your brother can serve at the same time. Two brothers can theoretically even serve in the same unit together. Married couples, brother and sister, I've even seen father/son.
In your case it would be different though. If you go OCS and your brother goes the enlisted route, you would be prevented from being put in a position where you could be in your brother's chain of command (you couldn't be his boss).
MSgt Jim Hall USMC (Ret.) · 7 years ago
In Round 3 I laid out the argument for why the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was necessary in the first place, and why we should reinstate it.
In my concluding remarks I will lay out the argument of why the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is not only needed, but also an extremely effective way to deal with the epidemic of male on male assaults.
In civilian environments, sexual matters can be looked at in shades of gray. Sexual flirting, sexual relationships, tensions, breakups and reconciliations are all part of daily life.
The military however is a unique institution that cannot afford these distractions. The mission of the Military is to kill and not be killed. This mission requires absolute, black-and-white rules.
The “don’t ask don’t tell policy” was essentially a zero tolerance policy on homosexuality. It stated that anyone who engaged in, or attempted to engage in homosexual acts, or admitted to, or was discovered to be homosexual was ineligible to serve.
This policy worked effectively because it nipped problems in the bud. Any evidence of homosexuality was grounds for immediate dismissal, this prevented sexual flirting, tensions, and relationships from being established. Any sexual advances were stopped from escalating into sexual harassment and sexual assaults. It eliminated any ambiguity about sexual conduct in the military setting. These clear and concise rules of conduct served the military well for over 200 years, and their elimination has led to an epidemic of male on male assaults.
As I have previously stated, homosexual Americans, like all Americans love their country. You and I both agree that homosexuals have served with great distinction.
I further believe that homosexuals who kept their sexual orientation private under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” policy, in fact served with special distinction. Not only did they fulfill all the requirements of their heterosexual counterparts, they undertook a special sacrifice of keeping their sexual orientation private.
I believe this sacrifice is required for maintaining a strong Military, free of sexual distractions. I contend we must ask the same sacrifice of today's generation of homosexuals that we asked of previous generations. It is a great sacrifice that we demand, but it is one that puts Country before self. It is the incredibly patriotic thing to do.
Below, I will provide a brief response to my opponent"s arguments, and then give my closing argument.
My point regarding the problem of sexual assaults was that my opponent"s solution was not a complete one. Reinstating the DADT policy would definitely decrease the rate at which men were sexually assaulted, but it would not get rid of the problem. Originally, it had seemed that the instigator"s argument was almost solely based on the claim that reinstating the DADT policy would solve the military"s problem with skyrocketing rates of men - on - men sexual assaults. To me, it seemed that my opponent was trying to simplify an incredibly complex issue and portray a temporary and partial fix to the problem as a complete solution.
The military has had a problem with internal sexual assaults for a long time. Since the publication of the Tailhook scandal in 1991, the military has had many scandals regarding sexual harassment and rape, both of men and women. The point here is that the repealing of the DADT is not the source of the sexual harassment problem.
In fact, many victims of sexual harassment and/or rape have actually been discharged because the military viewed the them as having partaken in "homosexual actions." Prior to (and even after) the DADT policy, many (most) of the male rape victims were either viewed as liers, blamed for the assault, or labeled as homosexuals and discharged. I doubt that the DADT policy would really provide a suitable solution to this problem, and I doubt that it would even improve the issue significantly.
Bias Regarding Friends/Families/Lovers
I"m sorry for the claim regarding family members. It was incorrect.
However, my opponent cannot deny that there is not some level of personal bias in virtually every military situation. While commanders may not send their family members into combat, they are often presented with situations where they send their friends and associates into danger. Will this not affect their judgement?
I understand that having one"s lover under one"s command will affect his/her judgement. But can it not be assumed that soldiers will be able to ignore these emotions temporarily for the sake of national security? Generals and commanders deciding the fate of other soldiers should have the mental fortitude to stop themselves from making biased decisions. If they cannot, the problem is not with the military but their individual qualifications.
General Problems I See
There are a few structural problems I see with my opponent"s argument. First off, the Don"t Ask Don"t Tell policy has not been in place for "200 years." It was put in place in 1993 by the Clinton administration. And it was not a "zero tolerance policy on homosexuality." In fact, it allowed closeted homosexuals to remain in the military. For its time, it was quite liberal.
I could not find any evidence of occasions on which decisions made by military commanders were influenced by their sexual orientation. While I acknowledge that it creates a bias, I doubt that it is too serious.
While I acknowledge that the DADT policy kept man-on-man rape cases somewhat officially lower, its drawbacks outweighed its benefits.
The DADT policy was an unnecessary measure against homosexuals in the military. It created needless tension and distrust between servicemen, and allowed for the unreported rapes of thousands of soldiers. While it may have restricted the biased decisions made by commanders, there is little evidence to suggest that such decisions were influenced heavily by their sexual orientation.
While there was an immediate increase in man-on-man rapes following the repeal of the policy, the numbers have decreased in the past two years, showing that the epidemic is receding. Also, the problem of sexual assault is not directly the fault of homosexuals, but the result of mental instability and uncontrolled anger. Rather than blame a policy allowing openly homosexual men and women to serve in the military for the increase in sexual assaults, we should focus on the main cause of it and crack down on it.
All people, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to openly serve in the military. The DADT policy should not be reinstated.
Again, I want to thank my opponent for an amazing debate.
I would have written more, but it is July 3rd, and my grandparents are calling me out to help get the motorboat ready.
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