Scott Tips

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by Attorney Scott Tips, JD
April 24, 2012

I recently read a piece on NWV with a promising title about why women should not be placed in combat. “Ah,” I thought, at last some sense will be brought to the subject. But I was severely disappointed because the weakest argument possible was used as a justification for keeping women out of combat: That they might be captured, tortured, and used as hostages! I’m sorry, but that is not the reason. Men can also be captured, tortured, and used as hostages in wartime too; and they have been. Just look at Israel’s prisoner exchanges with Hamas and others, for a quick example of the anguish that any country goes through to recover even one of its own.

No, the reasons women should not be allowed in combat are many and they are diverse. And note that I use the plural, not the singular, form for “reason.” This article will not win me many friends, it will fly in the face of conventional “pop” wisdom (especially those CGI films that show super-strong women able to do anything), and it will seem as if I am being sexist, but it is reality. It is the way things really are, not how we merely hope or wish that they can be. We can deny reality for a while – as we have been doing for so long with our national economy – but it will always, always eventually catch up with us. Such is the case with the current fad to allow women to play combat soldier in our military.

Keep in mind, we have had the luxury since the first real introduction of women into “front-line” military units in the late 1980s, to have overwhelming superiority against the enemies we have fought. This has allowed the increasing numbers of women in our military to encounter combat in “less than desperate” situations. But the day will arrive where the United States faces an enemy of equal or greater strength and capability. Then what? This article addresses the reality of why we need to go back to the basics and abandon our dangerous flirtation with a feminized military. Our very lives and existence will depend upon it.

Of Course Women Can Fight

And some of them even exceptionally well. But that is not the point. The questions to ask are: “How well can they fight overall? “How many women can meet the rigors of sustained combat?” “How many women can even meet the true rigors of military training?” “What is the effect of their training and fighting on male combat soldiers?” “Is this the wisest placement of women for our species?”

There are two basic problems with having women in any combat branch of the military. First, scarce resources are being devoted to female soldiers, sailors, and airmen that could be better spent on the more proficient and durable male soldiers, sailors, and airmen. Second, when women are introduced into a combat arena filled with men, the male mind is virtually always going to be distracted from the military mission to some degree, male bonding and unit cohesion will be reduced, sexual rivalries and tensions will break out, military discipline will suffer, and mission readiness reduced.

On this second point, some will argue that women's effects on men are a male, not a female, problem and that women should not have to suffer because of male reactions. But the truth is that these effects are not just a male problem, they are a human-nature problem that must be acknowledged in the same way that other laws of nature must be acknowledged. Because we may not like, for example, the law of gravity does not mean that we may simply wish it away. That we may not want men and women together in close contact to result in sexual intercourse will in no way prevent that from happening. Human nature will inevitably take its natural course, no matter how hard the social engineers among us may wish otherwise or even try to suppress it, with temporary success.

Remember, the modern military fights as a combat unit, not as individuals who happen to be working together.[1] So, no matter how capable an individual woman might be, to introduce her into a combat unit will distract men from their military roles and diminish their effectiveness. And, as Kingsley Browne has observed, “The experience of the millennia is that men, not women, should serve as the community’s combatants.”[2]

Hollywood Fantasies

We have been deceived for decades now by Hollywood fantasies depicting ordinary people doing things that they could never do in ordinary life. A young boy becomes wildly popular as Harry Potter, a magician who through his magic can and does do virtually anything with the wave of a wand. A (then-) young Demi Moore is a female soldier who can keep up with any male soldier as G.I. Jane, even though she candidly admitted off-screen that in the rigors of filming she could not come close to matching the men in any of the physical demands and had to be frequently helped.

In today’s omnipresent, film-crazy world, it’s easy for all of us to slip into the hypnotized state of actually believing the artificial reality of what they have created for us. And in the same way that they are trying hard to condition us, like Pavlov’s dogs, into thinking that Government Is God, they are also conditioning us to accept that women can and should go into combat. As Adolf Hitler said, if you tell the Big Lie long enough, the people will believe it. And this is one of the Big Lies that we are being told, constantly.

No, God or nature (take your pick) was not simply being redundant when the two sexes were created. It was for a reason – a very legitimate and valid survival reason – that gave relative strengths and weaknesses to both sexes. The truth is that women cannot do everything as well as men can do any more than men can do everything as well as women do. That is one of the reasons there are two sexes. They are complementary, not replacements for each other.

Women Are not Men (thank God)

One must keep in mind (again, despite Film/TV misrepresentations to the contrary) that the average 20-year-old woman only has the strength of the average 50-year-old man.[3] Women are generally physically weaker than men and this definitely affects their fighting abilities. Even in our push-button, gee-whiz electronic age, strength is still a necessary component of most fighting branches of the military. Women's hearts are two-thirds smaller than men's and must beat faster, even during sleep, to keep up with the pace of men. Women have bodies meant to bear children, with pelvises arranged accordingly. That’s better for giving birth to a child, but the trade-off is that it results in an off-angle of the legs that leaves most women, just off the bat, with a 10% slower running speed compared to men, and from that bioengineering factor alone.[4] This anatomical difference also accounts for a large part of the reason why women make up almost two-thirds of the more than 400,000 people who undergo knee replacement in the U.S. each year, according to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.[5]


The average woman would not have the upper-body strength to drag a casualty off of a fire-swept, or any, field, or to pack an 80-pound backpack, throw a grenade beyond its blast range, fly an aircraft that has lost its hydraulics, or to lug around a high-pressure fire hose on a Navy ship. Just imagine, as Col. David Hackworth put it, if the reconnaissance plane that the Red Chinese pilot severely damaged and forced to land had been piloted by female rather than male pilots. It would never have made it. As it was, it was tough enough with two linebacker-like males piloting the lurching plane, let alone anyone weaker.

Moreover, women are more easily injured than are men. For example, women who participate in sports such as basketball, volleyball and soccer, where their knees must suffer repeated impacts and pivoting, are 8 times more likely to rupture a knee-ligament than are men.[6] The researchers attributed this much higher incidence of injury to the fact that women have weaker muscle structure (even after training) in this critical area. In combat, this area is equally stressed by the jumping, running, and other physical activities that combat requires of soldiers. No army can afford to have soldiers who are injured at eight times the normal rate.

Uninformed feminist proponents of women in the military invariably point to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a model example of women in uniform who are equal to men. Alas, however, such is not the case at all. If anything, Israeli women are less equal than American women when it comes to the armed forces. Israeli women train separately from men with women drill instructors and, once they graduate from training camp, they serve in a separate division called CHEN, far from the front lines.[7]

Perhaps these uninformed proponents are thinking of the early days of Israel in the late 1940s, when Israel was fighting against incredible odds, with outdated military equipment, and needed every single person who could shoulder a firearm. In those days, some Israeli women did fight with their men - out of necessity. But even then, the practice was limited and soon enough stopped when it was discovered that the Arabs were fighting harder against the Israelis (because Israeli women soldiers were present) and that the Israeli men were taking outrageous chances to protect and rescue their women soldiers under fire. Casualties were significantly higher on both sides during battles in which the Israelis fielded women soldiers.[8] In fact, now, Israeli law clearly states that women must be evacuated from the front lines if hostilities start.[9] Therefore, the practice of using women soldiers in combat was stopped.

The Canadian Experience with Female Soldiers

As Stephanie Gutmann pointed out in her excellent work, The Kinder, Gentler Military, the Canadian armed forces are actually more representative of how women might fare in the military given a truly equal chance.[10] In 1989, it seems, the Canadian Human Rights Commission dictated that the Canadian armed forces must open up all of its military positions to women, excluding only the submarine service, with a ten-year deadline to fully integrate.

The Canadian Army put its first 100 female recruits into standard infantry training alongside male recruits. Unlike in the United States where the female recruits are coddled with lower standards, special breaks, and hands-off treatment by the drill instructors, the Canadians didn't play games - the women had to toe the line and pass the tests just the same as the men. By the end of the training session, out of the 100 female recruits, only one passed. And that recruit was a young female construction worker.[11] (It would be interesting to genetically and hormonally test that one female to determine whether or not she was actually male.)

Subsequent efforts to increase the ranks of Canadian female combat warriors were similarly lackluster. Confronted with an incredible 42% dropout rate for non-combat female soldiers, the Canadian Army went into high gear with a glitzy, professional advertising campaign on television, in women's magazines, and personal appearances by female soldiers in schools. After all of that, the Army received only 400 applications from women seeking assignments in combat positions. And when training began, only a quarter of those, or 100, showed up for military training. Finally, one half of those graduated and went on to their assigned units.[12]

If nothing else, the Canadian experience showed that no matter how hard they tried, the military could just not attract enough women into combat units. Invariably, the women would choose the softer and safer positions. If pilots, they would choose transport aircraft over fighters; if ground-sloggers, they would choose more rear-echelon positions than front-line, hard-combat positions.

Not surprisingly, these types of choices mirror the choices that women generally make in civilian life as well. Women doctors, for example, mostly eschew the tougher medical occupations of surgery and cardiology for the softer ones of psychiatry and anesthesiology. Women are not generally risk takers and being on the frontline, in tough occupations, is much riskier than taking a backseat role. So, no matter how hard the military tries, unless it forcibly dragoons women into filling combat positions (which would be a disaster anyway), there will always be a lack of women to fill military combat roles.

Women are More Valuable

It is important to remember, too, the obvious point that women are the child-bearers in human society. Women's time and resource commitment to the birth of a child is necessarily far greater than that by men. A man can father a child in literally minutes, if the opportunity or the need presents itself; while a woman's commitment is approximately one year, including initial nursing time. What this means is that men can father numerous children within a year, whereas women will usually be limited to one child a year (unless she has twins or triplets).

Although necessary, men are therefore less valuable than women for repopulating a society. Let's put it another way: If a war or catastrophe reduces the number of adults in a society, it will be far better if more men than women are killed, because a few men among larger numbers of women can more quickly repopulate that society than can a few women among larger numbers of men. One hundred women with one man will repopulate the planet significantly faster than 100 men with one woman. It is therefore suicidal and anti-survival of any society to expose its female population to any dangers, especially mortal combat. Women are more valuable than men and you don’t risk the more valuable component of society unless you are backed into a corner.

The current attempt by feminists to place women into combat units is incredibly stupid. Once coed units enter into real combat the attrition rates of females will be markedly higher than that of males (although many males will also needlessly die while recklessly exposing themselves in chivalrous efforts to "save" their female comrades), many women will avoid deployment into combat, and unit strength and combat cohesiveness will suffer dramatically. Because of this ridiculous policy of attempting to socially engineer the military, the United States may very well lose the next major war.

This article only barely scratches the surface of the multitude of reasons why women should not be placed into combat. Books – three of which are mentioned below in the endnotes – have been written on the subject; and, even then, not any one of them has covered all of the reasons why women should be spared from combat.

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Yet, the illusion that has been created by feminists through the movies and television that women can handle real combat and fight as effectively as men will cost us many thousands of needless deaths in the next real war. Combat is hard enough on men, it will be absolutely destructive of women and our society if we do not immediately stop pretending that men and women are interchangeable parts of the military. And, most ironically, women, who prize security and safety foremost, will have neither from a military that has been greatly weakened. The protection that they so ardently desire will not be there when that awful day arrives and our military is tested to its limits.

� 2012 - Scott Tips - All Rights Reserved


1. Kingsley Browne, Co-Ed Combat – The New Evidence that Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars (Sentinel 2007) p. 146 (4 of 5 studies showed that the more women in the military unit, the lower the unit cohesion and the negative impact of women correlated with the extent of physical danger). See especially Chapter 11 at p. 131.
2. Browne, Co-Ed Combat – The New Evidence that Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars, at p. 288.
3. American Medical News, Vol. 40, No. 18.
4. Ackerman, Jennifer, “The Downside of Upright,” National Geographic Magazine (July 2006) at p. 139.
5. FDAnews Daily, March 30, 2007, “Knee Replacement Designed for Women.” The Gender Solutions Knee from Zimmer is the only knee replacement designed to accommodate the anatomical differences in a woman's knee and is now available at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, per Mt. Sinai School news release.
6. Wotjys, Edward; Huston, Laura; Schock, Harold; Boylan, James; Ashton-Miller, James, “Gender Differences in Muscular Protection of the Knee in Torsion in Size-Matched Athletes,” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American) 85: 782-789 (2003).
7. Stephanie Gutmann, The Kinder, Gentler Military (Scribner 2000), p. 264; see also Brian Mitchell, Women in the Military, pp. 185-188 (Regnery Publishing, 1998).
8. Mitchell, Women in the Military, p. 185.
9. Ibid. at p. 187.
10. Gutmann, The Kinder, Gentler Military, at p. 265.
11. Ibid
12. Ibid

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Scott Tips is an attorney, speaker, editor, and author, who has widely researched this topic for more than 20 years. The views expressed in this article are personal to the author and do not in any way reflect the views of any organization with which he is associated.











No, the reasons women should not be allowed in combat are many and they are diverse. And note that I use the plural, not the singular, form for “reason.”