Submission Title

Gendered Inhibitors to Successful Military Service and Combat Integration for Female Soldiers

Subject Area

Political Science

Description

January 2016 marked the inaugural year of the Pentagon’s historic decision to open ground combat positions up to qualified women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This decision has reinvigorated the debate surrounding the expression of traditional gender roles and whether or not women belong in this male-dominated environment. This study examines the recent history of gendered military service, including publication of misleading rhetoric, both within the military and in larger society, surrounding the capabilities of women in combat, unequal demotion and exclusion of service members, and the biased treatment of trauma. Utilizing military research and case studies, this analysis examines the gendered inhibitors to successful military service including injury rates and training failures, alcohol and other substance abuse, and lastly sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An analysis of this data reveals that both men and women have suffered from the gendered, inconsistent treatment of physical, behavioral, sexual and psychological issues. With particular attention to the gendered treatment of combat-related PTSD for females and sexual assault trauma for males, these categories are examined in order to investigate the major positives and negatives of the changing structure of the military in the new era of female combat service.

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Gendered Inhibitors to Successful Military Service and Combat Integration for Female Soldiers

January 2016 marked the inaugural year of the Pentagon’s historic decision to open ground combat positions up to qualified women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This decision has reinvigorated the debate surrounding the expression of traditional gender roles and whether or not women belong in this male-dominated environment. This study examines the recent history of gendered military service, including publication of misleading rhetoric, both within the military and in larger society, surrounding the capabilities of women in combat, unequal demotion and exclusion of service members, and the biased treatment of trauma. Utilizing military research and case studies, this analysis examines the gendered inhibitors to successful military service including injury rates and training failures, alcohol and other substance abuse, and lastly sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An analysis of this data reveals that both men and women have suffered from the gendered, inconsistent treatment of physical, behavioral, sexual and psychological issues. With particular attention to the gendered treatment of combat-related PTSD for females and sexual assault trauma for males, these categories are examined in order to investigate the major positives and negatives of the changing structure of the military in the new era of female combat service.