Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Pentagon’s Approach to Integrating Women into Combat is Sexist, According to the National Women’s Law Center

SUMMARY: The National Women’s Law Center has issued a report criticising the Pentagon’s process of assessing whether infantry and special operations positions should be opened to women. They claim that the program lacks transparency and is ‘mired in secrecy, is misusing women as research subjects and is allowing each service to go in its own direction in conducting research.’ Furthermore, they are criticising the assessment of women in gender-integrated combat units compared to all-male units, which does not assess these women individually. There is a growing presumption that the lack of successful female recruits during the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course and Ranger School is indicative of their inability to serve in combat. This is the perspective of William J Gregor, a professor of social sciences at the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, says ‘the Infantry Officer Course and the Ranger Course results show that the Pentagon will have to scramble to find even a small number of women who can be infantry officers and commandos — both highly demanding physical endeavors.’ Gregor is also concerned with the high cost of testing on ‘populations that are unlikely to succeed.’

SOURCE: Rowan Scarborough, May 17 2015, ‘Women in Combat: Test Failures raise questions about how many can succeed,’ Washington Times,

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