Nate Silver pinpoints a problem with the Pentagon's new Don't Ask, Don't Tell survey. Among other questions, troops are asked whether they're serving with anyone they "believe to be homosexual." Silver writes:
[T]here's nothing to prevent a solider from speculating that some of his colleagues are gay, and this must occur rather frequently. Indeed, the survey almost seems to encourage troops to use their "gaydar" -- the question it poses is not whether they know other troops to be homosexual, but whether they believe them to be homosexual. Occasionally, there might be some relatively decent evidence for this, or there might be some dubious evidence that just so happens to be right. But for the most part, it would seem that you'll be picking up a tremendous number of false positives -- soldiers who are believed to be gay, but aren't -- and that these false positives will swamp any instances in which soldiers (in spite of DADT) are actually somewhat open about their same-sex attractions.
The Pentagon is spending $4.4 million on the research, part of its plan to spend the year studying a repeal of DADT. Service Members United, among others working to repeal the ban on gay soldiers serving openly, have condemned the survey as biased and derogatory.