Women at the Naval Academy: The First Year of Integration
Rept. no. 1, Sep 1976-Jun 1977
NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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The first year of integration of women midshipmen was studied at the U.S. Naval Academy. The degree of traditionalism of males of the Class of 1980 toward rights and roles of women in society was evaluated as a function of level of contact with female plebes. A small effect on the Attitudes Toward Women Scale was found after 5 months of integration, with men in mixed-sex platoons or squads expressing the most equalitarian attitudes. Irrespective of company assignment, the male plebes became more equalitarian by the end of the academic year. In general, these men were least equalitarian in areas that will affect them most closely as naval officers, as in their opinions about shipboard and other military roles for women. Upperclassmen were most resistant to the integration of Annapolis 19 were neutral or favorable toward coeducation, vs. 26 of plebe men. Females and males had very different perceptions of treatment of the sexes in the 1976-77 year, with the majority of men perceiving favoritism to women, and women denying they received such treatment, except perhaps in the area of physical education. Women generally felt resented and less accepted than male peers. Greater numbers of women in more varied roles e.g., upperclassmen should partially alleviate several problems by reducing the overvisibility of the women and resultant performance pressures, as well as by allowing more peer contact to challenge the stereotypes held by men.
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