Women In The Military Term Paper

The 21st century can be fairly called the age of proclaimed equality of genders. Today, one can count much less occupations that remain solely masculine—women are constantly conquering new positions and proving they are also capable of participating in physically challenging activities. This refers particularly to war. 50 years ago, the idea of a woman serving in the army in full combat would seem ridiculous—today it is a reality. However, is such an advancement reasonable? Though women have successfully proved they can doubtfully be called a weak gender, war is one of those occupations women should not take part in, since it results in a series of negative consequences in regard to their health and the state of the military in which they participate.

Nature has made women physically weaker and less durable than men. No matter how angry feminists can get about such statements, a woman, even a trained one in military boot camps, can hardly match a man in physical strength. Therefore, if women would be allowed to serve in the army, they would either need to match with the already existing training standards, or the standards themselves have to be lowered across the board. Officials from the West Point Academy inform that after women were allowed to serve in the military, men are no longer required to run carrying heavy weapons, which was considered a norm before (Fire & Knowledge). This is only one example of the changes that have occurred from the admission of women in the army. As a result, the army’s fighting capability lowers.

Normal physical exercises for men are often excruciating for women. A women’s health can be damaged by constant physical loads; this especially refers to the reproductive system. According to recent research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, excessive exercise can seriously reduce a women’s fertility (ScienceDaily). In addition, it can result in amenorrhea, problems with menstruation cycles, hormonal balance, and other aspects of health. It is obvious: compared to the perspective of becoming infertile and having many specific health issues, the benefits from serving in the army are rather doubtful.

Perhaps future armies will count as many women as men, but today women represent a minority in the military. Thus, having one woman placed in a whole squad of men is not rare. Being surrounded by men is psychologically awkward for women and men as well; besides, chances of sexual harassment increase dramatically due to this psychological friction, despite all of the discipline of the military (Suite 101). Women negatively affect discipline in a male environment, thus reducing the army’s combatant value.

Serving in the army today is solely a masculine occupation, and it should remain such further. Women in the army will decrease its fighting efficiency, since training standards will inevitably be lowered. Excessive physical exercises can seriously damage women’s health. Also, women in the army are not numerous, therefore they will most likely suffer from sexual harassment and negatively affect discipline.


Sowin, Joshua. “Why Women Should Not Be Allowed in Combat.” Fire and Knowledge. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2013.

“Hard Training May Reduce Fertility in Women.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 Nov. 2009. Web. 06 Aug. 2013.

Grover, Sam. “The Disadvantages of Women in the Military.” Suite101. N.p., 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2013. <http://suite101.com/article/the-disadvantages-of-women-in-the-military-a344351>

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Miss USA, 2016, Deshauna Barber, has put a new face on the image of women in the military. As a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, she is the first titleholder to be actively serving. Despite the presence of women in the armed forces for decades, female soldiers still experience a kind of gender bias that is rarely encountered in other professions.

What do you think of allowing women in the military? (Credit: USPS Stamp of Approval)

The issue is likely to gain more attention now that the Pentagon has decided to open up all combat jobs to women. This makes women in combat and the role of women in the military timely research paper topics.

Women in combat

Warfare and the protection of the nation has long been the province of men and yet women have served as well. Although female soldiers have often served in combat zones where they were under fire, they were not allowed to officially hold combat positions. Those who seek to make a career in the military find their path of advancement limited because holding combat positions is a prerequisite.

On December 3, 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced that the Pentagon would open all combat positions to women starting in early 2016. The announcement has been met with strong reaction from both sides of the debate.

Many, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, are convinced that the presence of women in combat will impair our military’s fighting capabilities. Others feel that the military must reflect the nation’s commitment to inclusion and democracy. Moreover, they feel that U.S. security relies on the efforts of the largest possible pool of talent. That includes women.

Matthew Rosenberg and Dave Philipps offered thoughts from Carter and others in their December 3, 2015, article for NYTimes.com, “All Combat Roles Now Open to Women, Defense Secretary Says.”

Some question the practicality of integrating women into combat units where they would be required to go on long marches carrying as much as 100 pounds of gear. Carter agreed that women must meet all qualifications for any job that they wanted to fill.

“He also acknowledged that many units were likely to remain largely male, especially elite infantry troops and Special Operations forces, where ‘only small numbers of women could’ likely meet the standards,” the article stated.

Women in the military arguments

Lorry M. Fenner and Marie E. Deyoung took on both sides of the debate in their book, Women in Combat: Civic Duty or Military Liability?

Both authors used their own extensive experience in the U.S. military along with a broad range of empirical data to expand on their opposing perspectives. For Lorry Fenner, it is unequivocally clear that women should be fully integrated into the military and should serve in whatever capacity for which they are qualified, including combat units. Marie deYoung believes just as strongly that serving in combat would be a personal and social disaster for women.

In expanding her arguments supporting the role of women in combat positions, Fenner reminded readers that the nature of combat has changed radically. Not all roles require brute strength. Some, such as the job of sniper, require intelligence, good eyesight and a firm hand.

“Intellect also is not bounded by physical attributes. We all recognize that some occupations demand more intelligence or education than others, and the first step for the armed forces is to decide how much intelligence a person needs and how to measure it accurately,” Fenner stated.

In defense of women in defense

Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, was asked her opinion of women in combat during the pageant competition. Barber, age 26, is a captain in the Army and is commander of the 988th Quartermaster Detachment at Fort Meade in Maryland.

Paul Schrodt provided video of Barber’s powerful reply in his June 6, 2016, article for BusinessInsider.com, “The new Miss USA, who’s an Army officer gave a passionate defense of women in the military.”

“We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated and it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army,” Barber said.

Find more research paper topic ideas for women in the military at Questia.

What is your opinion about women in the military? Do you think that women will soon be subject to the draft? Tell us in the comments.

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