Based on a thorough review of scholarly and popular articles, it is widely suggested that the U.S. military’s policies are strongly dictated by gender binary. Researchers from UCLA found that transgender Americans are twice as likely to serve in the military as the overall population, however, discriminatory practices within the service oppress transgender military members (Gates & Herman, 2014). Thus, the significance of this policy brief is that it will demonstrate the primary concepts and information that are relevant to transgender soldiers in the military. Specifically, this policy brief will present the following sections: Background/Context, Defining the Issue, Perspectives and Viewpoints on the Issue, Current/Proposed Solutions.
The background and context of this issue is of great significance to the policy brief. This research indicates that until 2016, transgender service members were required to hide their gender identity in order to serve (Feder, 2013). In July of 2017, President Donald Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military due to “medical costs and disruption” brought on by transgender service members. The ban was blocked and deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge (Philipps, 2017). Further, a study conducted by the Rand Corporation concluded that there is little cost to allow transgender soldiers in the military and no negative impact on operational readiness or effectiveness (Schaefer, et al., 2016). Overall, it is evident that there is no concrete argument against allowing transgender people to serve.
Defining the Issue
Sources have defined this issue in a variety of ways. For example, research suggests that individuals that identify as transgender battle discrimination and stereotyping not only in civilian society, but military as well (Grant et al., 2011). Furthermore, another source states that, if found out, transgenders in the service “have to endure the humiliation of a military discharge along with potential loss of benefits. Other able-bodied transgender recruits are being turned away before having the opportunity to enlist in any branch of the armed forces” (Ross, 2013)
Perspectives and Viewpoints on the Issue
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