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 rules. Civilian society forbids employee discrimination, but lives and combat missions might be put at risk by service members who cannot meet the demands of the battlefield, and the military must be able to choose those most able to survive, fight, and win (75).
Not only are women simply physically and emotionally incapable of the tasks and strains that come along with combat; they are at risk and must deal with the consequences of pregnancy, at risk of sexual misconduct and rape both by the enemy and fellow soldiers, and of the problems caused by intimate relationships that may develop, and have an unfair advantage over the men by accommodations made for them and basic training standards.
Despite technological advances, ground combat is no more refined, no less barbaric, and no less physically demanding that it has been throughout history. The soldier relies heavily on his physical strength and mental toughness for survival. No one would argue the fact that men and women are physically different. Weight, shape, size, and anatomy are not political opinions but rather tangible and easily measured. The physical differences between men and women...