Should women in the armed forces require the same testing standards as men?
Women form a significant role in the armed forces in many parts of the world, and as do the men are usually required to undergo regular fitness testing. In many cases there are different standards that the women are required to meet. Critics of this say that as both the men and women need to work under the same conditions they should be required to reach the same minimum fitness levels. On the other hand, due to women generally having lower physical capabilities such as lower strength and endurance etc., the setting of a standard test target for both sexes can be seen as a disadvantage, and even possibly discrimination. What do you think? See also this discussion about Fitness Testing in the Forces, and also a similar poll about whether the forces testing standards should be age-related.
Disclaimer: These polls are not scientific, and only reflect the opinion of visitors to this website who have chosen to participate.
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- Patrick (2014)
The USA has been infected with a recent and dangerous disease called political correctness. This disease now affects every facet of our society, including the military. National laws, passed by our Congress that attempt to legislate and enforce sexual equality will ultimately fail because man made law will always be subordinate to natural law. Ordering the military to open all military occupation specialties to women via legislation (man made law) or by decree is a burden our military should not be asked to bear. The military has been converted to a social experiment and it may ultimately cost us many lives and I fear, unnecessary defeats.
- Shelley (2017)
It has nothing to do with male vs female rights. It has to do with wanting the most fit and capable people out there doing the work. If many women cannot achieve this, oh well. I know I couldn't.
- Panait ciprian (2015)
Yes, if they want in military, police, etc they should be able to do the same job as a man. They are the ones that say that they can do anything a man does after all. If they cannot then just stay home.
- Shelley panait ciprian (2017)
What a sexist reply. While I agree that only the top qualified PEOPLE should be in the military or police, it has NOTHING to do with being male or female, and since when to women "stay home"? What a joke.
- Kayse panait ciprian (2015)
I'm not saying that I'm as strong as a man but what I am saying no is that I want to serve my county so no I don't think women should be tested the same as men cause we arnt as strong as men we just want to serve our county
- Luke Kayse (2016)
So why do women want to be on the front lines if most of you know you can not do the job as well as a man can that passed the test, by putting anyone on the front lines that didn't pass the test (women or man) is putting lives in danger and risking people safety, we have/had these test for a reason to keep our country strong and safe. If you want to serve your country find something you are capable and fit for
- Shelley Kayse (2017)
So serve our country in a way that doesn't endanger others and do something that does not require physical fitness you can't do.
- Ben (2015)
I don't think enemy bullets shoot slower when directed towards women.
- M. Flood (2015)
I can pass all of my fitness tests without a problem. And I know a female in training who can beat me in chin-ups. So, me seeing a female put in actual effort and get actual results makes me wonder why other females can't do this. If you want to serve, meet the standards. If you fail to do so you should be turned away, no questions asked.
- Ron (2015)
Equal pay, equal job opportunities, equal rights, yes it should be the same.
- Gmane (2015)
I think women should be held in the same standards. It is just to hard to fail with those easy standards. 6 pull-ups = 100 points!? but for me 20 pull-ups? Yet females want to join combat ><
- Ben (2015)
Personally I think it should be the same standard for all. I have applied to the Australian defence force on a couple separate occasions and could never really understand why there was absolutely different tests for each service and then totally different standards for police and federal police. Really the standards aren't all that demanding anyway and really if we are intending on entering such fields of work then we should expect that staying in good form is to be expected let alone the best way to perform these jobs. As I said even the highest standards are really only baseline anyway so men and women alike should be able to perform just as well. Maybe a bit of leniency could be preserved for much older age groups purely because experience is one thing that is hard retain on such physically demanding activities. At the end of the day people in these fields do need to be fit and healthy so they should be filling that need.
- James (2013)
If you think women should be held to the same standard as men then you are saying that women have no place in the military. Perfection for a Man is 20 pull-ups, 100 crunches in 2 minutes, and an 18 minute 5k. Hold women to this standard and they will receive lower cutting scores/fit reps and consequently not make as much money, be contained to lower ranks, and not be allowed the privilege of serving as long as their male counter parts. You can't hold them to the same standard. Now imagine for a minute that you've been shot in the guts and had you half your foot blown off. Let's play the percentages here. Who do you want running to pull you out of harms way, a man or a woman?
- Joe James (2013)
If women are going to serve in the same roles as men (which increasingly seems to be the case) they have to be equally capable or they could be risking both their own and their male colleagues lives. If that means that less women progress in certain roles so be it, but those fitness tests were put in place for the men for a reason.
- Bob James (2017)
most likely a man because they have proven that they can pass basic pt tests unlike incapable women.
- Luke James (2016)
Someone that is capable of the job (man or women)
- Jazmin James (2015)
Doesn't matter if it's male or female, I'd want the most capable, which in this generation can be a man or women. -_-
- Some men are built differently to other men just as some women are built differently to other women. Therefore there should be just the one standard of fitness required of both men and women entrants to the military. (from Roger, Feb 2013)
- I agree one hundred percent in equality. If men have to do it then so can women. No more of this, do less get paid just as much ... It has annoyed the heck out of me. Seeing them get away with doing less physical work and still making the same wage as me ... If I did that little I would have been fired! But there equal so I must be wrong ... I have met a few women whom hold there own, and I treat them with the respect they deserve because we are equal.
- I think that women are naturally physically weaker, and lower standards are ok for basic entrance into the armed forces, maybe you want to work in intelligence or something, but if you want to serve in infantry/anything combat related which is most everything, then a woman should be able to pass the same physical requirements that a man does. Otherwise women in the military become a liability, instead of helpful. (from jessi, Dec 2012)
- When Olympians have the same standards, then the military should ... if the world's top athletes in the world prove men and women are built differently than this topic is null and void (from Sheila, Nov 2012)
- Of course they should! I'm 14, and when I grow up, I want to be in the air force. But I don't want to be treated like I'm weaker than the boys. I can run faster, do more push ups, more sit ups, chin ups, etc than any of the boys i hang out with, and there's now way that any girl should be treated differently. (from Tess, Nov 2012)
- Women should be held to the same standards. I'm training to be a firefighter right now. Fire doesn't care if your a man or a woman. All that matters is can you do the job. If you can't then you need to go work out until you can. (from Gracie, June 2012)
- Women go on and on about how we should be equal to men so does this not count? They should be required to have the same standards as anyone else in any armed forces! If my husbands life depended on a women who doesn't have the physical ability to take care of him, why was she let into the military in the first place, it is a false sense of security. (from Lacey, April 2012)
- I think that women should be able to take on any job they wish. As long as they are willing to work hard and complete the tasks just as equal to men. There are plenty of men out there that can not meet the physical requirements where women can. So if women can meet them why discriminate. (from Marilyn, Nov 2011)
- I think the PT standards for women across the branches should be raised, but strong female NCOs and officers need to lead the way in this regard. Having served for more than 4 years in an infantry division, I endured an excruciating amount of crap from male soldiers and NCOs because I couldn't run a 13 minute 2 mile (I could do 40+ pushups though, go figure). It was incredibly discouraging, and without strong female leadership/massive amounts of negativity from my male peers, I assumed I was simply incapable of performing at a higher level of fitness. The stereotype of a 'weak female' produces a vicious cycle that is not well understood amongst male service members, and is hurting the force in ways that I don't think anyone can fully appreciate without having witnessed so much wasted potential first hand. I have been out of the Army for 2 years now, and my fitness has never been better. Female warriors can dish it out just as well as their male counterparts, but they need someone to tell them that yes, you CAN do it. @Eric: screw your heteronormative lifestyle. I'm not staying home to fulfill the needs of any so-called man, or pushing out babies because that's what someone says I should be doing. (from FormerSoldierGal, Nov 2011)
- I believe as a woman myself that woman and men should be rated equal, if a woman wants to join the defense force or fire fighting she should undergo the same fitness tests and the same training equal to the men, those woman whom passes the tests will be equal to men. (from Stephanie, Sept 2011)
- I am a woman myself and think it's great that women have the choice to fight on the front line if they want to. But they do need to pass the same physical capability tests as men. It's the same job- they should have to pass the same requirements. For their own safety and the safety of those around them. However, I am offended by the sexist comments about a woman's place being in the home. Perhaps some feel their manliness is being threatened. (from Emmeline. T, July 2011)
- Well obviously women in general are VASTLY weaker than men. The percentage of women capable of running 3 miles in 18:00 and under is EXTREMELY slim. 20 dead hang pull ups? lol forget about it! A lot of women like to think / what to be "equal" to men but this is simply a pipe dream. They want to get all the benefits but know damn well they can't perform at a typical males level. This goes for all women in typical "male" type jobs (police, fire fighter, military, etc). In the police force for example these females lack the strength to handle suspects so they end up having to use unnecessary force (taser, baton, firearm, etc). Women's right groups need to suck up their pride and acknowledge the FACT that women simply aren't "equal" to men. Evolution has worked the way it has for a reason where men are the "warriors" and women stay at the home front taking care of the kids, cook, clean and fulfill their mans needs. (from Eric, June 2011)
- Fitness standards in the military should be the same regardless of sex. If women want the equality to serve in a combat role then they should be held to the same standard as their male counterparts. That would be true equality. (from G. Small, Jan 2011)
- I serve in the Royal Navy, and am constantly annoyed at how physically useless my female colleagues are. Their easier fitness tests mean there is no chance of them failing, unless they are grossly unfit, and it is common knowledge that they have these easy tests so the whole Navy doesn't look foolish for allowing them on ships. (from AndyNavy, Dec 2010)