GEN 499- Gender Inequality in the Military

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Gender Inequality in the Military

Eduardo Ayala

General Education Capstone / GEN 499

Dr. Ryan Bates

October 3, 2018



Introduction:  The complexities of gender integration has been ongoing debate within the military for many decades.  It is not just an issue with only the United States military but all other countries that have implemented policies allowing women to serve in the armed forces.  Area of concern from an immediate impact are the logistics to how to effectively integrate and maintain good order and discipline within the ranks of the military. Another is the effects on unit morale and cohesiveness as women fill in positions that are traditionally “male centric” such as combat roles and concerns of performance standards being compromised.   Religious and cultural beliefs also contribute in the success and acceptance of gender integrated forces.

Thesis Statement:  The execution of gender integration is not only a societal issue creating a new “norm” within the military but also a strategic one as integration can be a force multiplier within the armed forces.

Annotation: 1

Collins-Dogrul, J., & Ulrich, J. R. (2018). Fighting Stereotypes. Armed Forces & Society (0095327X), 44(3), 436. Retrieved from

This article is an analysis of public opinion extracted from editorials about women in combat and contributes to the further information on women in the military, public debates about individual rights, and military effectiveness. An interesting statistic presented by Per Research Center in 2013 stating that more than 1 out of 10, worry that women service in ground combat will harm military effectiveness, and one forth believe women should be prohibited from ground combat completely.  The author goes into explaining the difference between sex and gender as a distinction between biology and culture.  Excerpts from feminist theorists explain the distinction between men and women are not biologically determined by sex, instead a reflection of the socially constructed systems of difference but sustained and created by culture.  Why this is important to the topic is for the collectiveness of full integration, whether it be natural born male and female or how the identity of the person can influence their own sex-gender binary.

Annotation: 2

Egnell, R. (2016). Gender Perspectives and Military Effectiveness: Implementing UNSCR 1325 and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. PRISM, 6(1), 72-89. Retrieved from

In this article the author promotes a different gender perspective for women in the military as the common idea of the military is for combat and war, but Robert Egnell, a Professor of Leadership at the Swedish Defence University and senior fellow of the Georgetown Institute, the importance of peace and security with the integration of women as key component.  The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) is a resolution on women, peace, and security.  It acknowledges the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls. The author discusses the for main pillars of the resolutions on women, peace, and security:  Participation, Protection, Prevention, and Gender Mainstreaming.

I feel that this source is the most valuable due to its focus on the perspectives of gender and military effectiveness. How woman can not only be utilize for war and an integral part for peace and security.



Annotation: 3

Klein, U. (2002). The Gender Perspective of Civil-Military Relations in Israeli Society. Current Sociology, 50(5), 669-686. doi: 10.1177/0011392102050005004

Civil-military relations in Israel are explored from a gender perspective. Since the foundation of the state of Israel, Jewish Israeli women have been conscripted which makes the country unique.  The author Uta Klien asked if the drafting of women has changed the masculinity of the defense forces. The other area is an examination of the military as an institution and the military discourse has on gender relations has in society is explored.  Religious parties viewed the integration of women as harmful because of their physical condition, the impact on morality in the institution and the feared impact on the birth rate. In 1953, the National Service Law was passed which specified groups of persons automatically exempted from service: married women, pregnant women, mothers, Christian and Muslim women.

The journal is relevant to my topic as it gives an overview of the history of Israel’s military with conscription being a societal norm along with grassroots gender integration.

Annotation: 4

Painter, A. (2013, May 23). Gender Discrimination in the Military. Retrieved September 30, 2018, from

This article is an overview of the daily struggles for women in the military due to gender discrimination.  The author claims that the women are treated differently because they do not have the same rights as the me do.  Rights such as being unable to be on front line in combat or participate in certain activities because they are women. The revocation of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was the spark for cultural transition within the military.  As of January 23, 2013, the Pentagon listed its ban on women in the front line and combat positions within our military.  The statistic of only 14.5 percent of the military members service active duty are women.  The Pentagon passed that by 2016 all military branches had to enforce the changes to lift the bans against women.

The author had a very biased approach in their article by conveying a lot of opinion but still supported with facts.  I chose source as it contributed to my topic by providing personal insight from a woman’s perspective based off their own research.

Annotation: 5

Stachowitcsch, S. (n.d.). Military gender integration and foreign policy in the United States: feminist international relations perspective. Security Dialogue, 43(4), 305-321. doi:10.1177/0967010612451482

The article investigates the relationship between foreign policy and military gender integration in the United States from a feminist international relations perspective.  After the establishment of the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) in 1973, female representation increased to over 14% in the late 1990s after starting at under 2% before the transition. After the Cold War ended the military shifted its objectives to inner-military reports, which aimed at the structural and cultural modernization of the armed forces.  As equality and gender pluralism were more favored during this period which was known as the Revolution in Military Affairs while qualification requirements kept rising. In the 1990s, women remain excluded from ground combat units, submarines, and the special forces.  However, women were able to fill aerial combat as well as ground combat support positions.

The author supports their claims with the providing historical policy references while discussing the factors that contributed to the decisions made for implementation of reformed policy.

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