Captain Katie Petronio of the Marine Corps has just caused a major stir by suggesting, against contemporary wisdom, that women are not well suited to front-line combat in war. With experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petronio (a Bowdoin College grad) is positioned to make this controversial argument.
Her testimony, published in the Marine Corps Gazette, is harrowing and disturbing:
As a young lieutenant, I fit the mold of a female who would have had a shot at completing IOC, and I am sure there was a time in my life where I would have volunteered to be an infantryman. I was a star ice hockey player at Bowdoin College, a small elite college in Maine, with a major in government and law. At 5 feet 3 inches I was squatting 200 pounds and benching 145 pounds when I graduated in 2007. I completed Officer Candidates School (OCS) ranked 4 of 52 candidates, graduated 48 of 261 from TBS, and finished second at MOS school. I also repeatedly scored far above average in all female-based physical fitness tests (for example, earning a 292 out of 300 on the Marine physical fitness test). Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry. I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.
Read the whole thing. There’s video of her talking about her views in that link, to boot.
If you’re looking for scientific research that backs up Petronio’s views from both a Christian and non-Christian viewpoint, here’s a good book by non-Christians on the essential physical differences between men and women. And Chapter 16 of this book by Christians is very good on the same subject (it’s a free PDF).