A recent study by the Marine Corps found that units consisting exclusively of males were quicker and more lethal than mixed-gender units. Squads that were entirely male performed more efficiently in 69% of the tasks that were evaluated.
The study was conducted using a battalion of 100 female and 300 male volunteers. These volunteers trained in North Carolina and California by participating in realistic combat activities. The all-male units performed better than mixed-gender units. They were more accurate, faster, and less likely to be injured.
The main focus of the Marine study was to find ways to achieve maximum combat effectiveness. By achieving maximum combat effectiveness, injuries and casualties can be reduced, and tasks can be completed more efficiently.
Despite the results of the study, many people remain hopeful that women can participate in combat roles for the Marines. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says that he hopes to eventually open all combat jobs to women. The Pentagon removed a ban which prohibited women from serving in combat roles in January of 2013. However, many question how the military can open certain jobs to women without lowering combat standards.
This news comes after two female soldiers graduated from the United States Army’s Ranger School in Fort Benning, GA. The school is a grueling course which emphasizes physical strength and endurance.
This study is the first study of gender integration on ground combat units conducted by the United States government since 1992. The previous study concluded, “Unnecessary distraction or any dilution of the combat effectiveness puts the mission and lives in jeopardy. Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong."