First, there are substantial physical difference between men and women that place them at a disadvantage when it comes to combat. Second, men treat women differently than they treat other men. Finally the presence of women leads to double standards that seriously erode morale and performance, in other words they are not interchangeable.
The average female is 5” shorter, has half the upper body strength, lower aerobic capacity at her physical peak (20-30 years old). The average women has the aerobic capacity of a 50 year old male and 37% less muscle mass and she has a lighter skeleton. A Army strength standards and pretest for each military occupational specialty, but those efforts were abandoned when studies showed that not enough women would meet the standards proposed for many Army jobs. Funding subsequently was denied for a study about remedial strength training for women. Another draw back is women become pregnant, and each year between 10-17% of servicewomen becomes pregnant. During pregnancy a women must be exempted from progressively more routine duties, such as marching, field training and swim tests.
There is a higher rate of turnover of women and are 4 times more likely to report ill, the percentage of women being medically non available at any time is twice that of men.
Does a superior order his or her beloved into danger? What if they demonstrates favoritism, what are the consequences for unit morale and discipline?
The first is the tendency to allow women, but not men to take advantage of sexual differences. Men (not all) feel women can use pregnancy to avoid duty or deployment. The second type of this double standard is based on differing physical requirements. Equal opportunity in practice usually translated into a demand for equal results, consequently there has been a watering down of standards to accommodate the generally lower physical capabilities of women. No longer are being prepared for the strenuous challenges they will face in the fleet or field. When the requirements can’t be changed and the test cannot be eliminate, scores are “gender normed” to conceal the differences between men and women. All the services have loser physical standards for women that for men. Two decades ago the US military Academy identified 120 physical differences between men and women.
A woman could receive an A for the same performance that would earn a man a D. Navy women can achieve a minimum score on the physical readiness test by performing 11% fewer sit-ups and 53% fewer push-ups and by running 1.5 miles 27% more slowly than men.
Female officers who believe that serving in the infantry will increase the likelihood that they will become generals. Women are already promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.
Source—weekly standard, mackubin Thomas owens