In This Review

New Opportunities for Military Women: Effects Upon Readiness, Cohesion, and Morale
New Opportunities for Military Women: Effects Upon Readiness, Cohesion, and Morale
By Margaret C. Harrell and Laura L. Miller
Rand, 1997, 172 pp

A short, dense, and technical analysis of a contentious topic. This work by two sociologists at rand, which relies heavily on surveys and focus group interviews, provides mixed findings: confidence in gender integration in the armed forces combined with lingering resentment, belief in double standards (both favorable and unfavorable to women), and strong disagreement over whether women should be allowed into combat arms specialties in the ground forces. As the authors admit, the methodology surrounding these issues is problematic. No matter what promises of confidentiality are made, women as well as men are often less than candid in responding to questionnaires and discussing these issues in public. The sampling problems are also formidable, as both authors acknowledge. The study is cautious and limited, but therefore useful.