It’s been a long time since I was required to shower among 40 or so friends, acquaintances, and virtual strangers, or not do so at all — a socially unacceptable option. Forty-two years after the fact, I no longer have a clear recollection of the experience, so it must not have made much of an impression on me. I’m certain I would have vivid memories of the experience if my shower-mates had been potential sexual partners.
If you are as bored as I am with the nearly 20 years of political blather about gays in the military, you’ve probably stopped reading already, assuming you started at all. But in all that I have read — before I stopped reading myself — and heard on the matter, I have never encountered my eminently sensible proposal, one that protects the patriotic urges of some homosexuals as well as the national interest on the basis of “force readiness” arguments which should govern the thinking of those charged with implementing the defense of our country: Lesbians should be allowed to serve, gay men (hereafter “gays”) should not.
Exceptions to every generalization I posit abound, but I don’t think I’m enlightening many of you when I assert that men by nature are more promiscuous than women. (You’ve noticed that, too, huh?) This is overwhelmingly true whether those men and women are straight or gay. Our instincts were designed by Parent Nature at a time when early humans were not the predators, but the prey, and our remote ancestors were still trying to avoid extinction and establish a permanent presence on this planet. It fell to men to swing through the trees and scour the caves in search of as many women as possible to subdue and impregnate — a tough job but someone had to do it. Women had to be more selective because, then as now, the principal consequences of copulation were theirs: pregnancy; childbirth; most of the responsibilities of childrearing whilst their baby-daddy hunter-gatherers were about hunting and gathering and finding other women to subdue; and the ruination of their pulchritudinous figures. How our ancient foremothers ever managed to establish any choice in the matter is utterly beyond me when one considers that they did not have access to Mace, police whistles, Lady Smith .38s, or domestic violence hotlines.
Regardless, Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons lost the evolutionary crapshoot while Homo sapiens endured and multiplied. Dumb luck is probably as responsible for our survival as our larger brains and female selectivity, but these characteristics prevail still and apply equally regardless of sexual orientation. The associations and lifestyles of gays encourage these opposing natural forces. Lesbians do not face the same pressures as straight women to “put out” for men. They therefore tend to develop long-term, monogamous, stable, and even permanent relationships.
Certainly they have their counterparts among gays, but they are rarer than hyperactive sloths. Homosexual men are not stymied by the instinctive — not to mention aggravating — caution and selectivity of most women. Most men who are sexually attracted to other men can and do indulge their promiscuous urges with little or no restraint; i.e., it’s “party time” all the time. My wife and I watched a sad documentary about AIDS a few years ago. An emaciated man in his mid-30s or so, not long for this world, said that he’d spent a lot of his free time on Fire Island and estimated that he’d had sex with “about 3,000 men.” My wife said, “I don’t think I’ve spoken to 3,000 people in my entire life.” I replied: “I’ll bet he hasn’t, either.” The unrefuted 1978 study by Bell and Weinberg indicated that 43% of gays had sex with 500 or more partners, and 28% had 1,000 or more partners.
What does all this have to do with force readiness and “Don’t-hint-don’t-wink” or whatever they’re calling it these days? My answer should by now be as painfully obvious as a suppurating genital rash: gays spread disease at a rate out of all proportion to their numbers in our population and should be excluded from the military. Gone are those happy days when a cheerful medic could give you a “pro shot” — a massive dose of antibiotic — before your wild weekend that would protect you from the consequences of every folly, unless you got mugged. Herpes and AIDS are infectious and chronic and the latter, despite advancements in lengthening and improving the lives of its sufferers, will eventually kill you as dead as a bullet in your brain unless something else gets you first. The military has depended on “blood on the hoof” — transfusions from live donor to live recipient — ever since transfusions were perfected by the discovery of blood groups in 1901. A significant population of gays in the military has the potential for disastrous health consequences.
Let’s remember that we’re not talking about a significant fraction of our population. Kinsey’s notorious World War II-era study concluded that about 10% of adult males in the United States were homosexual. Never considered in his study was the fact that most able-bodied American male heterosexuals were elsewhere, serving as part of The Greatest Generation, leaving a larger percentage of gays at home to keep one another contented. Later studies have almost universally concluded that the percentage of gays in our male population is between 1% and 6%. The recent National Health and Social Life Survey put the figure at 2.5%. The percentage of lesbians is estimated to be between 0.5% and 3%.
Finally, most gays are not inclined toward military service, but many lesbians are, and it is an open secret that they do well in the calling, especially in medical and administrative specialties. I am certain that I knew some during my 20 years in the Army, although I didn’t ask and they didn’t tell. In the era of conscription, gays had two options: lie and be inducted, or “come out” to be branded and rejected. It was a wretched choice that produced desperately unhappy men. I served alongside one such man in Vietnam.
Now back to that communal shower. It’s no secret that men are generally much more susceptible to sexual arousal through visual stimuli than are most women. Many gays will deny that this is the case with them, but why then is the Internet saturated with gay porn? I don’t claim to be a Constitutional law scholar on a par with President Obama, but shouldn’t the overwhelmingly straight warriors who answer their county’s call be spared the indignity of showering with other men who achieve lascivious enjoyment from the sight of those lithe naked bodies, and who may be tempted to seek more than the view? They are, after all, guys. If a Constitutional right to privacy that guarantees access to abortionists can be summoned from thin air, certainly the prohibition against involuntary servitude should prevent unwilling heterosexual men from providing beefcake parades without their informed consent, at least penumbrally.
Joseph A. Rehyansky is retired from the United States Army and the Chattanooga, Tennessee, District Attorney’ Office. He is a former contributor to National Review whose writings have also appeared in Human Events Online, The American Spectator, and other publications.