UWF in the Community

UWF faculty study life after ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

University of West Florida faculty members with the social work and anthropology departments are currently conducting research regarding life after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for active duty military and veterans.

The study explores any changes for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender members of the military since the DADT policy was repealed in 2010. The policy allowed members of the LGBT community to serve in the U.S. military as long as they did not disclose their sexual orientation. It officially ended on Sept. 20, 2011.

Dr. Christopher Cotten, assistant professor of social work, is serving as the lead researcher for the project. The idea for the project was developed in Fall 2012 by Dr. Diane Scott, interim assistant dean of the College of Professional Studies and associate professor of social work, and Dr. Robert Philen, associate professor of anthropology.

“This study is important because there is currently no scholarship giving voice to LGBT military and veterans regarding the impact of the lifting of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Cotten said. “Have things changed for them?”

The study was approved by the UWF Institutional Review Board and confidential interviews with LGBT active duty military and veterans commenced in June. The interview phase of the study will last for approximately a year, after which the research team will begin to analyze the collected data and compile it for publication.

For additional information or for those interested in participating in the study, contact Cotten at ccotten1@uwf.edu or 850.474.2651.