Testing The Gaydar Of The Troops?

by Patrick Appel

Nate Silver knocks the Pentagon's DADT survey of the troops. In one section it asks service-members to speculate whether other troops are gay:

The survey (at least from what we've seen of it so far) goes out of its way to avoid asking the troops about something which is arguably more relevant and which is certainly more measurable: their opinions about DADT. At no point, for instance does it pose the simple question of whether or not the solider thinks that DADT should be repealed. I'd have no huge problem if we asked our troops that; it would be up to our policymakers to weigh those findings against other factors. But the survey does not solicit the soldiers' opinions; instead, it solicits their speculation on the sexual preferences of their peers. In so doing, it insults their intelligence -- and ours.