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It's okay to be Gay in the Danish armed forces

Gay men in the Danish armed forces show strength  and resilience and gain respect. This is shown in a Master of Public Health-study at the Nordic School of Public Health. 
– Despite the prevalence of discrimination based on sexual orientation conditions are generally perceived as unproblematic, says Hans Henrik Hansen.

Even though they are respected the interviewees express uncertainty in relation to being completely open about their homosexuality.
Until training is completed and a solid employment is fixed they fear losing respect, authority and privileges, or in worst cases their job in the Danish army.
The interviewees use a range of complex coping strategies that are adapted to the individual situations, to handle so-called heteronormative assumptions and discrimination at work based on sexual orientation.
Hans Henrik Hansens Master of Public Health thesis gave a new theoretical model. According to Hans Henrik Hansen key assumptions in order to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation at work are besides a policy of diversity, also a management with competence in the field, a clear description of notification procedures and handling of discrimination cases, and a union that explicitly supports its homosexual members and has jurisdiction in this area.
The Master of Public Health thesis has also resulted in the development of a new theoretical model. The model describes the correlation between stressors, coping, identity and environment, and the strength gained from belonging to a minority. The studys ”Minority power model” has a new focus on the resources when belonging to a minority, instead of the problems of belonging to one.
The model might have potential for being used in other contexts for example, research on other minorities.
Parts af the results of the research was presented at World Out games International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Copenhagen Denmark July 2009.
Supervisor: Associated professor Ina Borup, NHV

Titel: "Seksuel orienteringsdiskriminering - et studie af seks homoseksuelle mænds oplevelser og erfaringer i det danske Forsvar"

For further questions about the thesis contact: Master of Public Health/Registered Nurse Hans Henrik Hansen
Mail: This is a mailto link
Phone: +45 2425 2418
Read the essay here
By Monica Bengtson, Information Officer, Nordic School of Public Health

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