“The study further found that some 26 percent of those who had received less than honorable discharges felt ‘guilt and shame,’ while 12 percent reported ‘confusion and collapse’ from the ordeal. More than half said the bad discharges affected their ability to get jobs–it was routine then for prospective employers to check all veterans’ discharge papers. In the long term, most gay GIs managed to weather the significant psychological distress and recover. The researchers found that 58 percent of the veterans who had received less than honorable discharges had considered suicide in the aftermath of their investigations and release from the military. Those who succeeded obviously were not around to be interviewed.”
Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 164.
The study mentioned was conducted by Drs. Colin Williams and Martin Weinberg from the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University in 1972. It was “one of the first studies conducted on men receiving gay-related discharges from the military.”