Friday night topic: Women in combat

— 5:48 PM on November 7, 2003

Reports that Jessica Lynch may have been raped while in Iraqi custody have struck a chord with many folks. We have come to tolerate, if not accept, the idea of women in combat, but hearing news of Lynch's ordeal makes one want to reconsider the issue. Putting young women into battle zones seems to run against the current of some basic human insticts to protect and defend, particularly for males. We can transcend these instincts during the act of analysis, but perhaps not in the practice of war. Indeed, we seem to need to harness such instincts in order to motivate our troops. Has the U.S. military's plan to integrate women fundamentally misread something important about human nature?


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