Navy Secretary Ray Mabus thinks the results of a recent Marine Corps study, which demonstrated that women are less capable at ground combat than men, are biased and wrongheaded.
In an interview with NPR, Mabus continued to maintain that the Marine Corps would benefit from an integrated force. According to him, the dramatic and consistent differences between male and female performance are really just a product of a mindset, which, he insists, biased the outcome:
It started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea, and women will never be able to do this. When you start out with that mindset, you’re almost presupposing the outcome.
That mindset, apparently, is responsible for women missing shooting targets more frequently and sustaining injuries at twice the rate of men. It is also responsible for rendering women 15% less powerful than men in the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force study, and making it extra difficult for them to drag wounded troops off the battlefield and move around heavy packs.
Mabus cited a study from the Center for Naval Analysis, which he relies on as evidence that these performance gaps could be closed to provide women with “the same combat effectiveness, the same lethality, which is crucial.”
For Mabus, the reason that gender integration is so important is the perceived need for “a more diverse force is a stronger force… If you have the same outlook, if you have the same mindset, you don’t get much innovation.”
Mabus made it clear — even before the study was released — that he does not intend to seek an exemption by Oct. 1 to bar women from the Marine Corps infantry and that by January 1, integration will likely take place, fulfilling an imperative set in place by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in 2012.
This report, by Jonah Bennett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.