Academic journal article Family Relations

And the Flag Was Still There: Straight People, Gay People and Sexuality in the U.S. Military

Academic journal article Family Relations

And the Flag Was Still There: Straight People, Gay People and Sexuality in the U.S. Military

Article excerpt

Shawver, Lois. (1995). And the Flag Was Still There: Straight People, Gay People and Sexuality in the U.S. Military. New York: Harrington Press. 262 pp. Paperback ISBN 1-56023-851-8, price $14.95.

Over the years, the U.S. has struggled with the complex issues of homosexuality and, more recently, with a divisive national debate about whether homosexuals should serve in the military. This book examines the continuing national struggle, but, more specifically, it examines and analyzes the recent debate about the goodness of fit between homosexuals and the military.

Shawver is to be commended for providing clear thinking and an astute analysis of a subject that is highly emotional and beset with much speculation, half truths, guesswork, rumor, fear, and mythology. Hers is a voice of reason that seeks to remove the veil of myths that shrouds the reality of homosexuals in the military.

The book is divided into nine chapters, some of which raise questions, whereas others provide answers to questions from which many of the objections to homosexuals, their life styles, and their right to serve in the U.S. armed forces emanate.

Shawver asserts that the military's rationale for continuing the ban is predicated on an unsubstantiated belief: Homosexual soldiers would invade and violate the privacy of nonhomosexual soldiers and, thus, create a crisis of heterosexual modesty and military morale. She believes that the crux of the issue is neither the sexuality nor the competency of homosexual soldiers. Rather, she perceives the central problem to be, "an argument about privacy and heterosexual modesty in situations of undress.' Proceeding from that premise, and similar to her approach with the Canadian military, she approaches the U. …

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