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CC Professor Studies Effects of the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The policy of "don't ask, don't tell" created deep contradictions in the U.S. military, according to a study co-authored by Economics and Business Associate Professor James Parco.

Military culture - but not military leadership - had already moved towards accepting lesbians, gays, bisexual, and "queer-identifying" service members long before the repeal last year of "don't ask, don't tell," according to "Policy and Paradox: Grounded Theory at the Moment of DADT Repeal." Still, the policy damaged lives and careers over its 18-year history, the study notes.

Parco and his co-author, David A. Levy, a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, interviewed 17 active-duty service members within weeks of the repeal on Sept. 20, 2011, and followed up with many of them in extensive interviews in August. The study is the first academic research on the impacts of the policy on service members "at the moment of repeal," Parco said. Earlier studies were not possible because the "don't ask, don't tell" policy could have ended the careers of service members who admitted they were not heterosexual.

Parco came to Colorado College in 2011 from the Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Ala. He was on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2003-07.

See Jim Parco's micro lecture on the relationship between the perception of the warrior ideal and the argument against the repeal of "don't ask don't tell."

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