Propensity of Young Women to Enlist in the Military. A Report to the Congress,
DEFENSE MANPOWER DATA CENTER ALEXANDRIA VA
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This report presents the results of a review and analysis of current data on the propensity of young women to enlist in the Armed Forces. The study was requested by the Congress in the DOD Authorization Act, 1985. After briefly reviewing the history of womens participation in the Armed Forces and public attitudes toward their participation, the study analyses recent data from three major, ongoing surveys of American Youth. Men are more likely than women to choose, or be chosen by, the military at each stage of the enlistment decision process examined in this study. About one third of the women and somewhat less than half of the men who take the written test subsequently enlist. Apparently the process of selection and self-selection that occurs between initial propensity and enlistment screens out people that occurs between initial propensity and enlistment screens out people with lower education and ability levels, leaving a population of enlistees who are substantially representative of American youth in these respects. Blacks are much more likely to be interested in serving than whites, with Hispanics occupying a middle position.
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