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In the news: between Nov. 9 - 16, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in the media between November 9 - 16, 2015

KU researchers lead study on women in military special forces - LJWorld

The increase of women in military special forces continues to spur heated debates.   

On Tuesday the Women's Foundation in partnership with the University of Kansas released findings from their 'Project Diane' research study. The study examines the impact women can have on military special forces, and what that could mean for the future of our military. 

“One of the aspects of our research is we’re looking at not just the policy change, but how a cultural shift will have to happen within the organization so that women can be successful as part of that integration,” said Shannon Portillo, researcher and associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at KU.  

The study also shows that women can add several different useful skills to military special forces.

“Anytime that you diversify a workforce it is typically better for the organization. Women certainly bring a change to that dynamic, and one of the aspects that we found in our research is that although that change is often times framed as negative, in reality that change can be positive,” Alesha Doan, chair of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and associate professor of political science at KU.           

While some barriers for women in the military directly relate to policies on physical standards, researchers add many are rooted in traditional gender stereotypes.

The KU led study included a large-scale survey and analyzed 24 focus groups with 198 Special Forces men and women.


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