Gender Integration in Basic Training:

The Services Are Using a Variety of Approaches

T-NSIAD-97-174: Published: Jun 5, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1997.

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Mark E. Gebicke
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GAO discussed its report on gender integration in basic training, focusing on the: (1) extent to which the services have gender-integrated basic training; and (2) effect on performance of men and women in gender-integration basic training compared with that of men and women whose training is segregated.

GAO noted that: (1) the military services' approaches to the integration of men and women during basic training range from integrating some training units to having separate gender units that share some training venues with units of the opposite gender to providing totally separate training; (2) data to compare the performance of trainees in gender-integrated units and segregated units is not available from all of the services; (3) limited information on the impact of gender integration from two studies done for the Navy and the Army suggests that gender-integrated basic training programs do not negatively affect trainees' performance; (4) a 1992 study done for the Navy reported no impact on performance and improvement in teamwork for both men and women trained in gender-integrated units; (5) a 1996 study of gender integration in the Army reported that women's performance improved in integrated training units and men's performance was not degraded; (6) because the data available to evaluate the impact of gender integration was so limited, GAO recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) gather more extensive data; and (7) DOD concurred with GAO's recommendation and is in the process of collecting the data.

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