June is LGBT Pride Month and Assistant Professor Jeremy Goldbach and Associate Professor Carl Castro, both with the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, discuss their latest Department of Defense-funded study on active-duty lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members. The Military Acceptance Project is a joint effort between USC and UCLA researchers. The two-phase study will include qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys with LGBT service members from each of the four military branches (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines). In this segment, the professors discuss the importance of studying this population and how they hope this study will build the foundation for future work.
Part of the importance of studying this population is because they make up a significant minority of active-duty serving members and, as Dr. Castro mentioned, they are making a significant contribution to the service. Their readiness is really important and in an effort to ensure that all service members are ready and prepared and as engaged and integrated as possible, I think the Department of Defense recognizes that this is a community that we don’t know as much about.
– Jeremy Goldbach, PhD
We know very little about serving LGBT service members… everything we think we know we actually gained from studying them as veterans. In many ways, this is a groundbreaking exploration and we hope a foundational study. It’s certainly not going to answer all the questions and lead to the development of every policy that needs to be developed.
– Carl Castro, PhD
Associate Professor and Director