Integration of Women into the Armed Forces Essay

2103 Words 9 Pages
Today's military includes women who train at boot camps, serve on warships and fly combat planes. Women currently represent fifteen percent of military personnel, and their presence is increasing among new recruits, up twenty-five percent in the A ir Force. Among officers and enlisted personnel, fifty five percent, or 107, 733 women report some form of sexual harassment. Recent accusations of sexual misconduct against drill sergeants at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, and a separate case against Ser geant Major Gene McKinney of the US Army, have some people questioning whether integration of women in the military has been successful. In addition to sexual harassment, gender integration issues include ingrained cultural patterns, …show more content…
The Army examination of the drill sergeant selection sys tem found it did not consider a candidate's maturity or complete a thorough background check. There was no close investigation of instances where drill sergeants had beaten their wives, which was a particular problem with some of the accused at the Aberd een Proving Ground. The military's position is that the problems of sexual harassment int eh military can be attributed to a lack of leadership, detailed in two army investigations (Barry and Thomas 49; Schitt A1, A19).

Opponents of the military's lack fo leadership reasoning believe the problems lie in how the military environment facilitates sexual harassment, in addition to making it difficult for women to resist or report instances of sexual advanes. They fee l the creed of drill sergeants, the power of the military structure, and the fat that military women can not just walk away from their jobs contributes to drill sergeants having powers over women that result in sexual harassment. These issues are explain ed by civilian psychiatrist Major Elsbeth Ritchie in testimony at the court martial of a drill sergeant from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Ritchie explains that fear of sexual harassment in the military is elevated due to a drill sergeant creed of " I am Mother, I am Father, and God to recruits" (qtd. Sciolino, pg. A14). Furthermore, the military structure is so
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