What happens when you take a bunch of women, and a bunch of men, give them military training, weapons, and ammunition, and then make them live together for a year?
Forget polite, things quickly get real.
As part of a new initiative to gauge women in combat roles, the Marine Corps intends to field 460 Marines of mixed gender for a several month training stint, all while under the microscope of doctors and scientists from various disciplines.
It’s not just a matter of anatomy and biology this time, Marine officials have told Marine Corps Times that they plan to chart the social and psychological progress of the groups as well.
The graphic below shows how they’ll do it: Two controlled squads will be exclusively male and exclusively female, while another will split 50/50, and the last will put women as the vast minority (the likeliest scenario, especially in terms of infantry).
The service will team with the University of Pittsburgh to monitor the physical toll the training takes on both sexes over the lifetime of the experimental unit. A partner to study the socialogical impact has yet to be determined.