SEPARATION OF THE SEXES IS THE BIGGEST SCANDAL YET

Dec 16, 1997
Press Release

"There is a new sex scandal brewing in the nation's armed services. But it has nothing to do with command and subordination. It has to do with the further isolation of, and discrimination against, women.

The idea that separating the sexes during basic training will prevent harassment, assault and rape, is indeed scandalous. Criminal behavior will not be prevented by simply secluding and thereby further punishing women. Criminal or anti-social behavior WILL be prevented by educating the educators, and thoughtful integration.

Soldiers must fight as they train. Separation of the sexes during training will only delay difficulties associated with integration to the field. A sexist who abuses women in training, will still be a sexist in the field.

The marines provide a good example. They have resisted integration of the sexes during basic training. However, the Marines' record of sexual harassment complaints is by far the worst. The Air Force, which has the longest history of combined training, has a relatively low complaint rate. Problems that arise between men and women need to be addressed at the earliest stage of enlistment.

Confining women to their own classes and routines only punishes them by forcing the services to provide "secondary" educators, and fewer opportunities. Unfortunately, it becomes a money issue. One class, or one training mission can always be run at less cost than two.

A new RAND study shows that gender integration has had little or no effect on military readiness, cohesion or morale. Our armed services continue to be the best prepared, combat ready force in the world.

What battle was ever won in retreat? This is not the time for military women to take a step back. Rather this is the moment to move forward."

 

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