Thursday, January 24, 2013

Even the IDF Agrees: Men Are Better Suited Than Women For Military Combat

While there are undoubtedly some women who are quite capable of performing combat duty, men are better suited to combat duty.  It’s not a matter of discrimination, it’s a matter physiology.

Men and women are not the same.  They are, for obvious reasons, not meant to be the same; they are designed for different roles in life.  This is not to say that men cannot take on the role of caregiver or that women can’t fight, but it does mean that men and women are, in general, better at the, roles they are designed to perform.
How does this physiology affect the ability to perform military combat duty?  The difference in male and female physiology is especially true when it comes to skeletal muscle mass. Due to testosterone, men’s muscle fibers are larger than women’s. This allows men to have larger muscles and are thereby stronger than women.

One study showed that “women were approximately 52% and 66% as strong as the men in the upper and lower body respectively.”

Another study showed “men had significantly more skeletal muscle mass in comparison to women in both absolute terms (33.0 vs. 21.0 kg)and relative to body mass (38.4 vs. 30.6%). The gender differences were greater in the upper (40%) than lower (33%) body.”

Emotionally, men and women differ as well. Why are men and women emotionally different? Aggressive competitiveness [is a] function of testosterone and the working of the masculine brain.”  The same group of neurons in the brains of both men and women process emotional experiences of fear and aggression; these neurons are connected to different regions of the brain in men and women. For women, these neurons connect to areas of the brain regulating internal areas of the body, thus focusing on aspects such as her hormones, blood pressure and respiration. On the other hand, these same neurons in men will connect to areas of the brain focused on the external areas, including vision and movement. This will cause a significant difference in the behaviour of a man and woman experiencing the same stressful situation.”

When looking at women in the army, the obvious comparison is women in the Israeli army.  It is thought that women are permitted in all roles, including combat in the Israeli army.  The Israeli army even says women "take an equal part" as men, but when you look at women in the IDF, you will see, this is not the case.  While Israel does allow women in some combat roles there are still combat positions, about 10% of them, that are off limits to women and "the five major IDF infantry brigades are still all-male."

Women only make up 33% of the armed forces in Israel even though service is required because they can be exempt from serving for more reasons, such as motherhood, than men. Women tour is 24 months compared to men’s 36 months required tour. It is not compulsory that women go in to combat positions. Only 3% of Israeli combat soldiers are women. The women combat soldiers are held to the same standards and tour requirements (36 months) as their male counterparts. Israel’s

According to the IDF, the 5 "Most Hardcore Female Combat Roles" are hardly hardcore and not particularily "combat". 
1. Air Force Pilot: Both Israel and the United States currently allow women to be pilots. 
2. Caracal Battalion Combat Soldiers:
Women in Israel's Caracal Battalion
Caracal battalion, whose main duty is to patrol the Israel-Egyptian border, is a combat unit that is made up of 70% women.  Though they have a policy of equality, even the Israeli military knows there is a difference between men and women.
3. Oketz (“Sting”) Unit K-9 Fighter:
The soldiers go into the field with their canine partners and do everything together, from searching terror facilities to chasing down an escaped criminal.
4. 76th Battalion of the Combat Engineering Brigade:
a unique unit which combines male and female soldiers whose job is to neutralize ABC weapons live in the field during battle. These soldiers go into the heart of enemy territory along with other combat troops during wartime, and help protect them from unconventional weapons.
5. Snapir (“Fin”) Unit: Their job is to safegurd Israel’s civilian ports, especially from incoming ships, and to protect the IDF’s naval bases.

All these jobs are considered 'combat' by the Israeli army, and many of these jobs are already available to women in the U.S. military.

If the United States is going to allow women in combat roles, those women must pass muster with men equally.  They need to perform the job as well and not be allowed to perform on a lower scale than her male counter-part.  Jobs should be assigned by who can perform the job better, not because someone wants to do the job and it would be politically incorrect or discriminatory not to give it to someone because of gender. 

In the end, it can’t be denied, physiologically and emotionally, men are better suited than women for military combat.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who Wants the Flu?

Cold and flu season is here again and nobody wants a cold or the flu.  Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of cold or flu and some ways to help you feel better if you get sick.


Symptoms of cold and flu are similar. You may have some or all of these symptoms. 

  • fever *Not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

A flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common.  This year’s vaccine has only been moderately (62%) effective in preventing the flu so it is important, whether you have had the vaccine, or not, to follow these tips to help prevent getting the flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.  This is the NUMBER ONE way to prevent the spread of infection.  Teach children to wash their hands.  

Clean hands prevent the flu:
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.  If someone is coughing or sneezing, try to stay at least 6 feet away from them.
If you are sick with a cold or flu, prevent the spread to others.
  • The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sneeze/cough into your elbow (not your hand). Throw used tissues in the trash after you use it.
Remember: Colds and flu are viruses and antibiotics will not help you unless you have a bacterial infection on top of the viral cold/flu infection.

Care for yourself when you are sick:

  • Get plenty of rest, give your body time to recover.

  • Eat lightly and keep hydrated, you may have a poor appetite, that is normal when you are sick. It is important to drink and keep hydrated.  Hot tea with honey and lemon are helpful if you have a sore throat and/or cough.

  • If you are congested it may be helpful to avoid dairy which increases mucous production

There are medicines available, over the counter, to treat fever, cough and congestion.  Read labels carefully and follow directions.  Do not take more than the recommended dosage.  Pay particular attention to "cold medicines" that have multiple ingredients.  Example: If a cold medicine has acetaminophen, don't take additional acetaminophen (Tylenol) you can overdose and damage your liver.  I prefer to treat the symptoms and use medicine for each symptom.  Yes, you will be taking more medicine, but you will not be taking more dosage of each medicine and you will customize your medicine to only those symptoms you have.  You will not be taking medicine for symptoms you don't have.  Example: if you don't have a cough, there is not reason for you to take something that has cough medicine in it.  
If symptoms persist or get worse, see a doctor.
Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions) If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor. Remind them about your high risk status for flu.
CDC Emergency warning signs:
In children
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal
In adults
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
This video is was made for healthcare workers, but it's fun for everyone to watch: