Women should be removed from combat roles.
Debate Rounds (4)
I accept and am looking forward to an enlightening debate!
While women should be allowed to serve in the military, front line combat positions should be off limits for them in particular. This has no element of sexism or personal bias, more so this opinion is rooted in fact, logic, and ethics.
Firstly, I would like to focus on the physical boundaries that divide both genders. On average, your basic man is 50% stronger when it comes to total force exerted than your average woman. Sure, there are those rare instances, but in general, men overpower women. In particular, women carry only two thirds of what muscle mass men typically have, and men have a denser skeletal structure. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, women "were approximately 52% and 66% as strong as the men in the upper and lower body respectively." (NCBI). Also, women tend to have more body fat, and less lean muscle tissue spread throughout the body. Women on average had 30% smaller muscle CSA's (Cross Sectional Areas), in the biceps, knee, and elbow flexors than men. This literally means unit for unit, men can exert more force from these specific areas.
Women, on average, have 30% less lung capacity than a male, and this is very important, as oxygen is essential to motor functions.
A little off topic, more psychological than physiological, women tend to have a harder time dealing with the stresses of life, which are laughable compared to those of combat scenarios. Another NCBI study, please refer to conclusion (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...).
In essence, my argument entails that men are superior physical specimens to women, and therefore more fit for a combat role.
Now, to integrate this into a more cohesive argument.
While women may physically capable, but not as so as men, you could say why not? Why should women be excluded from combat roles? Well, this is simple. Women are a physical liability to men in combat scenarios, being less able to cope physically and mentally. Women, I may add, are more susceptible to PTSD. Liabilities are extremely dangerous in combat, most likely to end up with casualties as a result. So, you have to ask yourself, are lives lost or altered for the worst acceptable in exchange for mingling politics and gender equality into warfare? To this I say no.
I agree about civility. I think that in this time of rapid political polarization, debate must be kept as civil as possible.
The statistics you cite all apply to the general population. They are, therefore, completely irrelevant. This is because that the military only accepts the best, most fit individuals. Thus, any women fit enough to meet the rigorous standards would not be physically inferior to their male counterparts. So women in combat roles would not in any way be a physical liability to other soldiers.
So even if these statistics you cite do prove your point about physical superiority, it still proves nothing as pertains to this debate. The military will accept those who meet its requirements. This may mean that less women get accepted, but those who are while not be in any way a hindrance to other fighters.
You say women are more susceptible to PTSD. This is true, but only in the general public. According to the VA, women and men are equally susceptible to PTSD in combat situations. (http://www.va.gov...) So women that are accepted into the military would be equal to men both physically and mentally and thus able to carry out missions just as well as any other soldier.
So when I ask myself if lives should be lost or altered for gender equality? They don't have to be, because allowing women into combat positions would not cause lives to be lost or altered.
My logic. The stats apply to the general populace. Recruits of both genders are pulled from the general populace. Women, according to the stats, have lower physical capability. Therefore they are trained at a lower standard than men. Logically, they come out of training at a lower standard then men, regardless of the change in stats after the fact. This is exactly how the military recruiting and training works. This is not some scenario I thought up, but rather a simplified version of training and its results.
Therefore, women (before or after training) will be less physiologically capable than men (before or after training). Women, relative to men, will always be less capable in regards to physical prowess (excluding the rare instances).
Moving on. Think of a squad. They have just been deployed. They are caught up in a fire-fight. There is one woman in the team, the rest are men. The woman, who is less physically and psychologically adept in combat, is not pulling the same weight as the others. The men, who are picking up the slack, are put in a higher amount of danger due to carrying more gear or performing more in combat due to picking up this slack from the woman (who we have stated will almost always be less capable than a man). While performing in this elevated state of vulnerability, one of the group is killed. Think of a squad or any unit in the armed forces as a chain. They are only as capable as their weakest link (in this case the woman). As soon as it breaks, the rest of the force is thrown in danger or put in disarray. Either that, or the military is forced to reduce operations to a minimum in order to avoid such happenings caused by a failure of personnel, in this case a woman, and will almost always be a woman as long as they are serving on the front line. Women, again, are a liability.
So ask yourself again, are lives worth the introduction of gender equality into warfare?
And again, I emphasize, women and men, even post-training, are not equal, because the armed forces have different standards for them both, the female standards being the lower. They therefore and are a liability in combat.
After thought, this completely eluded me, how do you think a woman would perform on her period? And what would it cost to supply hygiene supplements needed to exclusively keep a woman in peak condition? How about the logistics of getting those to troops. Eliminate women, you eliminate all sorts of logistical havoc caused by their special needs. Either that, or neuter them, which I am sure you do not stand for and neither do I, it is purely hypothetical. Even then, a woman still needs certain amenities that a man does not. Again, a liability. If these certain supplies cannot be taken to a woman on the front line, then she is not in peak fighting capability, and therefore is a liability. If she needs them to be carried with the team or unit, and it adds extra weight, then she is a liability. Women, no matter how you put it, are and always will be a liability in combat.
I would also like to point out that my opponent has offered only one justification or even rebuttal to one of my many points, nothing more. I apologize, I have no qualms with this or how you conduct yourself, and I don't try to sound arrogant, I just wish to evoke a more enjoyable and "enlightening" debate.
The numbers do not stay relative to each other. When interpreting this data, it is important to take into account the fact that these are all averages. There are some women who perform better than men. There are some who perform worse. The average may be generally lower than the physical average for men, but this does not mean that women accepted into the military would be physically inferior. They met the requirements, therefore they will perform on the same level as men.
I am under the impression that men and women train and are recruited on the same level and by the same standards because this is what the Secretary of Defense tells us. In an article put out by the Department of Defense just last February, "And while 'suggestions' have been made to lower standards for female Marines to meet quotas, Mabus emphasized it’s 'an unacceptable notion' for every Marine, especially those women who choose to compete for those positions...Standards can never be lowered for any group or any job. Standards will evolve as threats evolve, but they will evolve for everyone equally...The Army’s high individual standards performance and professional conduct will continue to be based on requirements of the position and nothing else." Later in the article, the Secretary of the Navy says that (http://www.defense.gov...) This proves that your postulation that people are accepted by different standards based on their gender or by any other factors is inaccurate. As to your assumption that women do not train on the same level as men, this is also untrue. From the same article: "The Marine Corps also is ceasing its tradition as the only service branch that separates men and women in boot camp." When the integration process is fully carried out and finished, men and women will be trained and recruited on exactly the same level.
You say that the statistics imply the relative physical prowess of men and women. To understand this statistic, let's assume that "1" is the least physically capable out of each gender and "5" is the most. This is a completely made-up demonstration simply to show why these statistics you cite are completely irrelevant. Bolded is the average for each gender. "M" stands for men and "W" stands for women.
Say that the underline is the cutoff for physical fitness to be accepted into the army. The average is at "3" for each gender. You'll notice that in the diagram, the average woman is a step lower than the average woman in terms of physical strength. Does this prove anything? No. It simply means that there will be more men than women accepted into the army. The women that are accepted will perform at the same level as the men accepted. I understand that my diagram is an oversimplification, but it helps to convey the concept pretty well. So although these statistics do have some relevance, they only mean that there may be more men than women accepted into these combat roles. It says nothing about the women performing relative to men. You say, "Women, relative to men, will always be less capable in regards to physical prowess (excluding the rare instances)." This is the thing--you can't exclude the rare instances! These rare instances are the people who get accepted into combat roles. Excluding them is simply a way to manipulate the facts to promote your own argument. It's misleading and inaccurate.
Your scenario about the squad also proves nothing. You have given no actual evidence to prove that women in the military perform on a lower level than their male counterparts. Your statistics about the general populace means nothing other than the possibility that more men will be accepted than women.
You say, "And again, I emphasize, women and men, even post-training, are not equal, because the armed forces have different standards for them both, the female standards being the lower." This would prove your argument true...but this inequality in standards that you say the military holds does not exist.
As for your final argument--why couldn't they just send hygiene products with food shipments or the like? To suggest that you couldn't ship in a small and relatively inexpensive product along with other necessary shipments is absurd.
I believe that I have now offered a rebuttal to every one of your points.
Eagerly awaiting your responses!
http://www.military.com.... There is a chart that displays the standards for both men and women in the marines applying for basic training (boot camp). Id like special notice to be payed to the fact that there are two different fitness standards for men and women. They do have different standards, and the MARINES ARE BEING PRESSURED TO LOWER THEM FURTHER ( I capitalize for emphasis, not to yell). The women's bracket is much easier than the men's, with lower times and performance counts. While a agree that there are cases where women can compete, I don't think it justifies the opening the opportunity to every woman who wants to. So rather than add extra expenditures. While one category may be the same, 36 minutes is a big difference over 33. Believe me, I run a lot, and minutes seem like hours when it comes down to it. Same with the pull ups. If you argue women are equal to men, then why are there different standards? It's simply a matter that women are not equal to men physically, before or after training (yes there are rare instances), and GI Jane is as bad a movie as it is a picture into reality. These standards cited are not even the standards in boot camp, rather the final PFT (PT) to get in. So when there are already noticeable differences at the basic level, how about the advanced?
Again, the same case with the Army ( above was Marines). Please refer to http://www.military.com.... The standards are even more noticeably different. So when you say " This would prove your argument true...but this inequality in standards that you say the military holds does not exist," I say the do very much exist, and they impact the performance of a woman greatly.
Air Force is the same (http://www.military.com...)
Navy (http://www.navy-prt.com...) and (http://www.navy-prt.com...).
So please indulge me on how these lower standards "do not exist". I think we can both agree that training at a lower bar means performing at a lower bar, yes?
My point with a woman's hygiene is the fact that it's higher maintenance than a man's. This equals more supplies which is equal to more money spent. And "inexpensive products" bought in mass amount to supply any amount of women is pretty damn expensive.
And lets not forget sticking a woman in with a bunch of men who have been away from any sort of, er... attention for a good amount of time can get feisty pretty quick. Sure, its the man's fault. No women = No problem. Simple as that.
And what If they get captured? How many more horrific things can the enemy do to a female Infantry unit than a male one? Sending women into combat presents a even nastier dimension to warfare, which is already ugly enough.
To sum it up, women, in rare instances, can keep up physically with men when it comes to combat, but that alone does not justify the extra cost and problems they could pose in fighting force. They train lower, and therefore perform lower, and a soldier who cannot pull the same weight as his/ her piers poses a danger to his/ her own safety and everyone around him/her.
With men, quite simply put, you get more bang for your buck. They are better performing, cheaper to maintain, and completely unlikely to cause any problems on a battlefield that a woman could. Men, in essence, are superior soldiers. The world of combat should be theirs and theirs alone, because a military unit of all men is better than a mixed unit of genders. The stats back this, and the logic backs it as well. I'd also like to point out that the very notable fact that women could not make it past the already lower female standards for a marine or had difficulty doing so pays credence to my point. This, the audience should note, is what my opponent referred to as "And while 'suggestions' have been made to lower standards for female Marines...". UNDER THESE circumstances the marines considered lowering female standards AGAIN (emphasis).
I must add, I am a little bit jealous of the fact that you get last say...
Your whole first paragraph is about the differences in training standards. I understand that the training standards may be lower. The important thing to notice is that this has no relevance to this debate. The standards of the United States military specifically have no bearing on the inherent pros and cons of women in combat roles. If the military were to suddenly change its standards, would your position change?
"I say [standards inequalities] do very much exist..." I wasn't talking about the training standards. The fact of the matter is that men and women are accepted into the military on the same standards. The point was simply to prove your statistics about women in the general populace irrelevant.
About women's hygeine--I know it's higher maintenance. But this would be such a small addition that I think maybe our monstrously overblown military budget could cover it. If we don't have the money to ship tampons to soldiers, how do we remain the world's most powerful military force by far?
I understand that there could be some nasty situations in combat with women. This is just something that the Marine Corps and other combat role military branches need to be vigilant about and take extra precautions to make sure our soldiers are safe.
Women do not inherently train lower than men, as you say. Just because the military has a particular set of standards doesn't make your postulation true. You have not provided any proof (other than hypotheticals) that mixed-gender units perform at a lower bar than all-male units. Now that we think about it, you have not provided any statistical information that actually proves your argument. Your statistics about the general populace were irrelevant and, as I pointed out, your statistics about the standards has no bearing on this debate because they simply reflect a choice that the United States military has made rather than an inherent truth about the physical performance of women in combat roles worldwide as compared to their male counterparts.
Thanks for a great debate!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by spencercrat123 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: S&G: Pro had some spelling errors (peer not pier) but I was able to clearly understand both sides. Conduct: Both sides did a good job of staying civil in face of a controversial proposal. Arguments: Pro's case boiled down to 2 arguments: 1) Men have greater physical, psychological, etc. capabilities than women and are thus better suited for combat roles. This is not reason enough to remove women from combat roles unless he proved: 2) Women pose a liability in combat roles. Women have been in combat roles for 20+ and Pro produced no factual evidence of this, offering only hypothetical situations. Con did a good job of pointing this out and showing that women in the military are held to a higher standard than the general populace. Con could've done a better job of showing success by women in combat roles to strengthen her case though. Ultimately, Pro's failure to prove liability is why I give the points to Con. Sources: Both used credible sources.
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