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Co-Ed Combat

Publisher: Sentinel • 2007 • 380 pages

The decade-long debate over women in combat is no longer just theoretical. Since 2002, more than 155,000 female troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan — and already, the number killed in action exceeds the female combat deaths of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War combined. Routinely now, women fly combat aircraft and serve on warships. Even the remaining all-male corners of the military are blurring the lines in Iraq. Yet, as our armed forces move inexorably toward full “gender neutrality,” both our political and military leaders continue to ignore the growing body of evidence that it is misguided. Now, in “Co-Ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars,” Kingsley Browne demonstrates that the differences between men and women have strong biological roots — and are not mere “social constructions” that can be educated or wished away.

Kingsley, a law professor specializing in employment discrimination, examines the new evidence produced by the latest research in the fields of anthropology, biology, and psychology, and finds that the notion that women can be trained to behave like men in combat — or that men can be “socialized” to accept them as leaders — is grievously mistaken. His examination includes not just individual traits — such as strength, endurance, risk-taking, physical aggression, fear, courage, and other traits that affect both combat motivation and combat performance — but also the effect of psychological sex differences on the functioning of groups. Kingsley also chronicles a number of other impediments to sexual integration — such as problems of sexual attraction, pregnancy, and the demoralizing effects of double standards. Altogether, Co-Ed Combat reveals that the physical and psychological dynamics differentiating women from men are far more complex than the political debate over “gender equality” suggests.

Some of the revelations in this groundbreaking book:

  • Why modern warfare does not dispense with the need for brute physical strength, and how the military and media try to minimize this fact
  • Hard statistical evidence that men are far superior to women in combat skills — even leaving aside physical strength
  • Data showing that most female troops cannot carry the necessary gear without slowing them down dangerously
  • Evidence that men have superior hand-eye coordination and situational awareness — as well as a greater willingness to take risks
  • Why men function better in hierarchies — while women tend to resent taking orders, especially from other women!
  • How female troops are more cautious about fighting hand-to-hand (as even noncombatants must be willing to do): “We would rather solve the situation; if somebody has to die, then nobody really wins,” explains one
  • Why female troops do not respond to traditional motivations — and how this adversely affects training and combat
  • Why the bonds of unit cohesion do not form properly in a co-ed military unit
  • Why men tend not to trust women in physically dangerous situations — and why this cannot be solved through “leadership” and “training,” as proponents assume
  • Why women’s biology and psychology make them more prone to more training injuries, post-tramautic stress disorder, and other impairments
  • How female combat leaders adversely affect morale
  • How men’s worst fears in battle differ dramatically from women’s worst fears — and why men’s fears are advantageous to the military
  • The grave strategic consequences of sexual integration — such as the alarming story of how Osama bin Laden escaped Tora Bora because the U.S. military put gender considerations ahead of efficacy

“A scholarly but easy-to-read book that objectively analyzes the biggest, most risky social experiment in military history. … After reading this book, high-level policy makers will have no excuse for creating or tolerating policies that hurt both men and women, while weakening the only military we have.” —ELAINE DONNELLY, president, Center for Military Readiness

“Fascinating … the most comprehensive work on this subject that has appeared so far. … This book will provide a rich lode of reference material for any inquiry into this subject, and will be a primary source for all involved in it.” —LIEUTENANT GENERAL RICHARD G. TREFRY (U.S.A., ret.), program manager for the Army Force Management School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and former military assistant to President George H. W. Bush and director of the White House Military Office

“Kingsley Browne has produced an explosive device that scores a direct hit on the multiple myths responsible for our military’s gender-blind personnel policies. Armed with fascinating research, original reporting, and refreshing candor, Professor Browne makes a convincing case for the benefit of military men and women alike.”— KATE O’BEIRNE, Washington editor of National Review, and author of “Women Who Make the World Worse: And How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military and Sports”

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