Women In Combat

William M. Briggs claims that Women In Combat Results In A Suboptimal Military but his argument belies his supposed expertise in statistics.

I am taller and stronger than the average woman, but only around the 80th percentile. So 20% of women are physically stronger than me. I could probably dominate half of those by virtue of a more highly testosterone-fuelled aggressive nature, but that leaves about one woman in ten who could probably have whupped my ass in my prime if properly trained to. If I had been in the right age cohort and location I could easily have passed muster to enter combat-ready military service, but one of those “nasty” women would have been a better protector for my country. It only makes sense to pre-select on the basis of population averages when the variable(s) of interest are hard to assess directly.
Perhaps Mr Briggs needs to (re?)learn some statistics.

Of course this is not to say that there is a case for demanding “equity” in the form of equal representation of genders or for any lesser reduction in the qualities required of a female as opposed to a male soldier, but the fact is that when much of modern combat is enacted from what is essentially the console of a video game it is less physical strength than various mental capacities which should control the selection.

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