Candidate: Sylvia M. Raphles
Doctor of Philosophy
Peter Kobrak, Chair
integration of women in the military services has been an evolutionary
process. Women are now only restricted from service on submarines, amphibious
assault vehicles, and specific combat-designated specialties. While
woman's role in public life has gradually expanded, full equality has
yet to be reached. Contributing to the full equality of women is the
complete integration of women in the military. The issue of the total
integration of women in the military services has yet to be resolved;
women are still only partial players in service to their country.
As the literature review and historical background suggest, there are many arguments made both for and against women serving in combat positions in the military services. This study identifies those impediments that are preventing the total integration of the military services. The research question is as follows: What impediments exist that prohibit women from being placed in combat-designated positions in the military services? A content analysis of judicial, executive, and legislative documents identified the salient themes and sub-themes that identify the impediments to the full integration of women in the military.
From the judicial documents came discussion regarding the physical and mental capabilities of women, the public reaction to the issue, and military and social concerns. The executive branch documents contained a large number of references to social issues such as motherhood, while from the legislative branch came numerous cultural references, particularly to equal opportunity. The analysis culminated in a conceptual model that outlines the physical, mental, social, cultural, political, and military impediments preventing the total integration of women in the military.
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