Women in combat? Many Marines in survey say they'll leave
SAN DIEGO — A Marine Corps survey found about 17 percent of male Marine respondents who planned to stay in the service or were undecided said they would likely leave if women move into combat positions.
That number jumped to 22 percent if women are assigned involuntarily to those jobs, according to the survey.
Listed among the top concerns by male Marines about the policy change were fears about being falsely accused of sexual harassment or assault, fraternization, and preferential treatment of some Marines.
Respondents also worried that women would be limited because of pregnancy or personal issues that could affect a unit before it's sent to the battlefield.
The results of the survey of 53,000 Marines were released on Friday to The Associated Press.
The survey was conducted from May 30 to Aug. 31. The results were given to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before he opened thousands of combat jobs last week to female service members.
“I think there is this sense among what I would imagine is a very small minority of Marines that this male bastion is under siege and this is one more example of political correctness,” said David J. R. Frakt, a military law expert and lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserves. He also is a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
But he said just as the Marine Corps adjusted to the end of “don't ask, don't tell” despite being the most resistant of the military branches, troops will likely fall in line again with this historical milestone.
Both sexes surveyed mentioned intimate relationships between Marines and feeling obligated to protect female Marines among their top five concerns about allowing women into ground combat jobs.
Top concerns of women Marines included the targeting of women as POWs, the risk of sexual harassment or assault, and hygiene facilities, according to the results that did not give specifics.
The women also said they worry about acceptance and physical abilities if given a full-time ground combat job.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.