Closer look at challenges faced by women in the military
Fly, Valerie A.
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
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Research surrounding female service members in the United States military has shown differences in the effect of the military on male and female mental health. However, the reasons for these differences, as well as higher rates of physical injury for women, have yet to be determined. The purpose of this study is to record the challenges faced by women in the United States military, as they themselves perceive them. Qualitative interview data is used to determine whether such challenges differ from those that male service members face, and what might cause any differentiation. Results show that gender discrimination is most commonly a result of the inherent differences in physical capacity for men and women. Mental distress discussed by participants is commonly caused by a fear of such discrimination integrated in the military culture over time. Therefore, perceptions of physical differences correlate with the differences in military experience for males and females.