Feminism, militarism, and attitudes toward the role of women in the military

Melissa S. Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Attitudes toward the role of women in the military require the reconciliation of two often conflicting beliefs: those toward the roles and rights of women and those toward the military. This article explores the relationships between positive attitudes toward women's roles throughout society, or feminism, and positive attitudes toward defense spending, or militarism, both with each other and with attitudes toward gender integration in the military. Results of this analysis show there to be a negative relationship between feminism and militarism, a positive relationship between feminism and gender integration, and a negative relationship between militarism and gender integration. The results of multiple regression analysis show that feminism is the strongest predictor of attitudes toward gender integration, while militarism is weak in its predictive ability. The author argues that the issue of women in the military is more one of women's equality than of national defense and that policy discussions should be structured accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-48
Number of pages24
JournalFeminist Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


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