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Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn't Fight the Nation's Wars Hardcover – November 8, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Women serving in the armed forces deserve their nation's thanks, law professor Browne announces in his first paragraph, quickly adding that they are unfit to be soldiers. To support his argument, Browne presents an avalanche of intriguing psychological and military studies that examine male-female differences. He points to evidence that men are generally better able to carry the necessary gear, and that although even noncombatant women must be prepared to fight hand-to-hand, they are generally more cautious: we would rather solve the situation; if somebody has to die, then nobody really wins, explains one. Men have superior hand-eye coordination and situational awareness as well as a greater willingness to take risks and function better in hierarchies, he says. Women are more democratic and tend to resent taking orders, especially from other women, but overwhelmingly oppose complete equality (e.g., being assigned combat roles involuntarily on the same basis as men). Since Browne makes no secret of his opinion and is a lawyer, readers may suspect they are hearing only one side of the case. Still, the question of how women should be treated within the military is timely. (Nov. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Kingsley Browne is a professor of law at Wayne State University Law School, specializing in employment discrimination and other aspects of employment law. He also teaches evidence, torts, and a seminar in law, biology, and behavior. Prior to law school, he did graduate work in physical anthropology. A former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, he spent five years in private practice before switching to teaching.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC; 1St Edition edition (November 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230430
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Bailey on December 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This new book by Kingsley Browne is an excellent review of the latest physcial, psychological, and experiential reasons for keeping women out of the combat arms. He does not denigrate anyone's service, including many women who have been wounded in combat, as has been suggested. He does require readers to give up certain myths that he explodes, but especially that women and men are interchangeable. He does not conclude that there are no women capable of meeting the standards of modern combat, but that they are few and far between. He does point out that even though a few rare women might be able to meet the present combat standards it would still change the relationship of soldiers in the field from one of philia to one of eros. He points out that team work and esprit-de-corps or male-bonding is what creates the camaradery which makes men kill and if necessary die for each other. The introduction of women into this all-male enclave would change the relationships and reduce male-bonding and because of that combat effectiveness. He is quite right when he remarks that combat effectiveness should be the only issue with regard to any change to the combat arms of the US military. Those who claim to be disgusted by a book they haven't read should read the book, and then think about the nature of war and what combat effectiveness means.
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Format: Hardcover
Kingsley Browne's book is the latest evolution of the buyer's remorse whic those who are concerned with the readiness of the United States military have had since women were first integrated on a large scale level in the 1970s. If Brian Mitchell's "Women in the Military" coalesced my own doubts and observations about female policy and Stephanie Gutmann's "The Kinder, Gentler Military" reinforced them, then Browne's effort updates and solidifies them.

It is the first serious book on the matter since the US military was committed to the Global War on Terror and therefore either very timely or somewhat overdue. For those on the margins looking for either a robust rejection of feminism or an excuse to ignore his thesis because it is inherently anti-woman will both be sorely disappointed. Quite frankly, it is the most dispassionate exhortation for us to take a second and honest look at our laws and policies that I have read on the subject. With a topic that generates a lot of heat on both sides, perhaps it is Browne's profession (law) which allows him to lay out the argument for reconsideration in such a logical, unemotional and, ultimately, compelling manner.

Browne catalogues a long list of reasons why women should be barred in direct ground combat. Much of the information is established -if conveniently forgotten by bureaucrats and politicians-and some of it, if not new, has at least gone largely unmentioned in the past. Browne reminds us that pregnancy rates, sexual misconduct, double standards, cohesion problems, POW issues, and leadership differences all contribute to an integration problem that cannot be wished away with training or regulations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What new evidence? Not one thing in this book that humans--except for feminists, who, however, hardly count as humans--have not known since the first caveman took up a stone and killed his neighbor. Still the author is to be recommended for presenting the evidence for the nth time.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent and well done. It is about time someone wrote a book like this. The data presented in this book mirrors very closely my military experience as an active duty chemical officer in the mid 1980's. This book is well researched (anyway as well as a topic like this can be researched when certain groups are trying desperately to hide the truth) yet at the same time an enjoyable read. Although educational on many levels it is not dry and boring. The author uses enough real life examples and vignettes to keep things interesting even for those who are not just interested in the military, current affairs, or politics.

The main criticism I would make of this work is that it assumes that the same (or very similar) costs do not exist in other areas (ie. medicine).

I would suggest that this book be required reading for any politician who has anything to do with the military, all officer courses, and all the military academies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books on the issue of putting women into combat along side men. Most Americans know nothing of military history or how warfare is waged. I read some of the negative reviews of this book and they are typical of those who argue for women in combat; they are emotional and not based on reason. If women are suited for combat and are natural warriors then the question must be asked: why, throughout all of history, has there never been an army of females formed to conquer another culture or people (or even to overthrow their oppressors)? If women had the warrior mentality and proclivity they certainly would have done so. Can the naysayers of Mr. Browne's book really envision a scenario (as he described) of an army of women storming the beaches of Normandy or the sands of Iwo Jima? The thought is ludicrous. This leads to the next logical question. What would be a superior fighting force; an army of all males or an army of all females? If an all male army is superior then how does adding women to the army make it better? A good analogy can be made with the game of football which requires (much like a combat fighting force) physical strength, aggressiveness, the ability to fight through injuries (and resistance to injury), the willingness to sacrifice oneself for the good of the team, the willingness to take extreme risks, and the willingness to brutalize your opponent. What is a superior football team; an all male football team or an all female football team? If an all male team is better then how does adding women to the team make it better? I will even go so far as to say that any top boy's high school football team would easily defeat a trained team of the best female athletes in the world.Read more ›
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