With just months left until branches of the U.S. military will be expected to accept women in combat roles, the Marines announced the completion of a year-long program designed to explore the repercussions of that mandate.
Two teams of 200 Marines were selected to compete against each other in a series of demanding combat simulations. One team consisted of all men while the other was split evenly among men and women.
The experiment showed that the all-male team was faster and more effective in completing the tasks, defeating the other group roughly 70 percent of the time. Furthermore, the study revealed an apparent difference in the way men and women react to obstacles. According to a subsequent report:
For example, when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top.
The report concluded with an excerpt from an earlier government document:
Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interest of an individual, or group of individuals is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.