Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

Committee Director

Mary Ann Tetreault

Committee Member

Carolyn H. Rhodes


Why would a lesbian choose to go into an androcentric, mysogynist environment, and, once there, choose to stay? This study examines the military experience of lesbians as represented by a group of twenty-two lesbian veterans and active duty military personnel. This research concentrates on three basic areas of concern: recruitment, retention, and the structure and function of personal networks.

The results show many similarities between this group of women and those in other studies on women in the military with regard to reasons for joining the military and background information. However, these results also indicate a connection between being gay and joining the military, and a very strong correlation between sexual orientation and forming exclusive networks in the military.