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Against Women In Combat Essay

1883 words - 8 pages

Women in the United States have fought extensively for equality of the sexes. Many struggles have been won, from the right to vote to breaking into male oriented professions. Apart from all others is the battle to allow women to serve in combat in the United States Armed Forces. Still, many have raised questions about military integration. The primary fear is that the proposed change would significantly weaken and decline the cohesion and effectiveness of the troops, which could ultimately mean the difference between life and death. A report to Congress points out that:Civil society protects individuals' rights, but the military, which protects civil society, must be governed by different ...view middle of the document...

Men have a 50 percent greater total muscle mass, usually build muscle easily, have thicker skin, bruise less easily and have a lower threshold of awareness of injuries to their extremities. Men are essentially built for physical confrontation and the use of force. Their joints are well suited for throwing objects. A man's skull is usually thicker and stronger than a woman's. Women have less bone mass than men, and their pelvic structure is wider. This difference gives men an advantage in running efficiency. On average, a woman's heart is 25 percent smaller than the average man's. Thus, the man's heart can pump more blood with each beat. For any given work rate, the faster heart rate of a woman also means that most will become fatigued sooner than men will. The lung capacity of men is 25 to 30 percent greater than that of women. This gives men still another advantage in the processing of oxygen and in doing aerobic work such as running (Commission Report 8). Women would also be unable to drag wounded comrades from the battlefield to safety while under fire. Men and women are built differently, and it is a physical fact men are better "equipped" for combat.Women are also emotionally different than men. Men are more aggressive than women. This is why most violent crimes are committed by men, and it is also why men - rather than women - fight wars. Because of this natural aggressiveness in males, male-dominated institutions, like armies, are full of male-bonding rituals and customs that reinforce masculinity, the unity of the group, and the virtue of fighting. Studies show that women are not naturally inclined toward violence. When they are violent, they tend to use it in a resolute fashion, such as protecting themselves or their children (Dye 1-2).Many young, inexperienced soldiers' only perception of real war comes from movies, videogames, and textbooks. On the battlefield where bombs explode, guns fire, and missiles are launched, the fighting environment is much more hostile and personal. Those unfortunate enough to be assigned to combat serve one purpose - to seek out and destroy the enemy by whatever means available. The combatant must aggressively reduce other human beings to mangled dead flesh. Can most women emotionally handle this? Probably not. Feminists argue for "equal opportunities" declaring equal rights. Although equal opportunity is a noble American idea, it has nothing to do with real war on a bloody battlefield where the issue is plainly to "kill, win, and survive." An appeal to "gender equity" will do nothing to help a woman soldier against an enemy who is trying to impale her on his bayonet.The idea of women in combat also conflicts with beliefs that the female role is to give life, not to take it. Ironically, one of the biggest risks of integration is the chance that a woman in a combat role could become pregnant. There are actually two problems associated with this issue. The first is that men may assume women on the front...

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