Violating Gender Norms in the Canadian Military: The Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Soldiers

TitleViolating Gender Norms in the Canadian Military: The Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Soldiers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPoulin, Carmen, Lynne Gouliquer, and Jessica McCutcheon
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Volume15
Issue1
Pagination60-73
Date Published11/2017
Abstract

Militaries tend to be heteronormative men-dominated institutions that value a masculine warrior ideal. Soldiers, however, are not necessarily heterosexual and men, nor do they always embody the prescribed warrior ideal. How the values related to hyper-masculinity and heteronormativity influence the experiences of gay and lesbian soldiers is an empirical question. In this  study, the Psycho-Social Ethnography of the Commonplace methodology was used to investigate how the institutions of heterosexuality and the Canadian military shape gay and lesbian soldiers’ experiences. Interviews with 10 lesbian and 10 gay soldiers were conducted and analysed. The findings reveal that lesbian and gay soldiers face fairly widespread discrimination in the military environment. They must contend with the institutional demands to meet the requirements of a hyper-masculine-heteronormative soldier ideal. Gender differences are highlighted and social policy recommendations are discussed.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-017-0304-y
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