USMC prove the point about women in GCC units.

It's meaningless
It is indeed, as in addition to the points you make above, there's been no serious attempt (yet) to find the causes, however "...in the interim, military women whose infertility is likely linked to military service should be afforded access to all available infertility diagnosis and treatments at no cost ..." which seems fair enough, but note the phrase in bold; I strongly suspect that the pathology will indicate a set of circumstances or lifestyles unconnected, or only peripherally connected with military service, but if it turns out that wearing camouflaged kit interferes with the chemicals, what should the US Army do?
 
Surely now it's all one Army, they shouldn't differentiate between genders, so they should all do the same race. I wonder how that would work out?
Well, if they were competing against male triathletes of the same sort of standard (club level) in 'the same race' (as in Calgary, for example) they'd be spread pretty evenly across the field, including in the top 10%.

If they were competing against most male soldiers, though, they'd thrash well over 90% of them, possibly more (almost certainly including both you and I). That may have some meaning or relevance the next time a conflict's decided by a triathlon race, but until then it's not really got much validity.
 
I strongly suspect that the pathology will indicate a set of circumstances or lifestyles unconnected, or only peripherally connected with military service,
Agreed 100%.
... if it turns out that wearing camouflaged kit interferes with the chemicals, what should the US Army do?
Ummm .... see if it also applies to the men?

The probability is that a disproportionate number of the 'fertility problems', if they exist, included active-duty or retired servicemen as the other half of each couple, so statistically there's no reason to suppose it's a female problem rather than a male one.

A whole new can of worms .....
 
@John G,
Not sure if you have done so, but check out the actual report, rather than the article https://www.servicewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/FinalSWAN2018reproreportweb.pdf

Couple of snippets from the report.

DEMOGRAPHIC DATA OVERVIEW
According to 2018 DoD data there were 216,650 Active Duty service women; 170,070 Reserve and
National Guard service women; and over 2 million women veterans. Minority women make up a
significantly larger portion of the military and veteran women population than in the general population.

In the Army, minority women comprise 66% of enlisted women and 43% of women officers. The demographic data from the SWAN survey reveals that it is not fully representative of military women and is skewed toward the experiences of white officers. Despite the skewed sample there are some important and consistent findings.

Unintended pregnancies:
Thirty-six Active Duty women (13%) said they had experienced an
unintended pregnancy and 58% (21) of those said that it occurred while they were using birth
control.

Capture.PNG
 
@John G,
Not sure if you have done so, but check out the actual report, rather than the article https://www.servicewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/FinalSWAN2018reproreportweb.pdf

Couple of snippets from the report.

DEMOGRAPHIC DATA OVERVIEW
According to 2018 DoD data there were 216,650 Active Duty service women; 170,070 Reserve and
National Guard service women; and over 2 million women veterans. Minority women make up a
significantly larger portion of the military and veteran women population than in the general population.

In the Army, minority women comprise 66% of enlisted women and 43% of women officers. The demographic data from the SWAN survey reveals that it is not fully representative of military women and is skewed toward the experiences of white officers. Despite the skewed sample there are some important and consistent findings.

Unintended pregnancies:
Thirty-six Active Duty women (13%) said they had experienced an
unintended pregnancy and 58% (21) of those said that it occurred while they were using birth
control.

View attachment 366601
I did, as I thought the fault may have been with the article not the survey, hence my point that the survey wasn't necessarily representative. Having done so, the survey is clearly equally flawed and the article simply reflects that.

It's just not physically possible for 58% of those who had unintended pregnancies to have been "using contraception" at the time, whatever sort of contraceptives they were using (condom, coil, pill, etc). I'm not an expert on contraceptives, but I'm pretty sure they work rather more than less than half the time, whether those using them are "white officers" or not!
 
Depends on all sorts of factors: whether they forgot to take the pill, condom split, coil moved, were on antibiotics, etc.
Some surprising stats here:Can you get pregnant on birth control?

The effectiveness of barrier methods vary. According to the CDC, barrier methods are 12–28 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Diaphragms and male condoms are the most effective of these methods, while spermicide is the least likely to prevent pregnancy.

Natural methods of birth control have a very high failure rate. According to the CDC, withdrawal has a 22 percent failure rate, while fertility awareness methods fail 24 percent of the time.
 
Depends on all sorts of factors: whether they forgot to take the pill, condom split, coil moved, were on antibiotics, etc.
Some surprising stats here:Can you get pregnant on birth control?

The effectiveness of barrier methods vary. According to the CDC, barrier methods are 12–28 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Diaphragms and male condoms are the most effective of these methods, while spermicide is the least likely to prevent pregnancy.

Natural methods of birth control have a very high failure rate. According to the CDC, withdrawal has a 22 percent failure rate, while fertility awareness methods fail 24 percent of the time.
As I said, I'm not an expert but I think a 58% failure rate is a pretty good indicator that they're doing something wrong ... and if 40% have 'fertility problems' already that indicates an even higher failure rate among the 60% who don't have such problems.

The main problem with the survey is that it doesn't compare like with like. The national rate of 12% experiencing 'fertility problems' is based, apparently, on medical reports; the survey rate of 40% is based on those replying to an on-line survey. The two aren't comparable.
 

Colonel Blimp

War Hero
Some seriously strange findings - and some equally strange comments.

Strangest is that the comments seem to assume "active duty" somehow means infantry, carrying weights, etc, when according to the study it clearly just means serving rather than retired so includes clerks, cooks, drivers and all the other myriad of equally important but not necessarily physically arduous or demanding jobs.

60% of the study of 799 were 'veterans or retirees' while 35% were 'active duty'. Disregarding that that seems to leave 5% unaccounted for, that seems to negate the possibility that infertility could be due to amenorrhea (absence of periods) which is not unusual among women doing a lot of repeated and prolonged physical exertion which would be the expected reason, as amenorrhea stops (and periods re-start) once exercise / calorie intake, etc are balanced normally.

Some of the stats make no sense at all: "Of the 13 percent who said they became pregnant when they didn't want to be, more than half were using birth control at the time." How can that be? Birth control somehow doesn't work for more than half of those using it in the military?

The headline that " Nearly 40 Percent of Active-Duty Women Report Fertility Problems" is also totally untrue. The survey was on-line and only reported the results of the 799 who replied, of whom only 35% or about 280 were 'active duty'. That's a sample of about one thousandth of the women on active duty in the US military and while it could be representative it could equally be totally unrepresentative and may have been replied to disproportionately by those who had 'fertility problems'.

It's meaningless, not only because it reaches no conclusions but also because any statistics it's based on are fundamentally flawed.
I knew you'd be the one to pick holes in it. In U.S. military parlance "active duty" means you're a regular. The opposite is what the Reserve/National Guard are and even then you have categories within the Guard and Reserves as some are "active Guard/Reserve" (one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer) and "inactive Guard/Reserve" who have made other arrangements and show up once a year for a prolonged period over the summer. Something like that.

I came across this slight confusion some years ago when British and British-trained soldiers confused the term "active duty" with "active service."
 
I knew you'd be the one to pick holes in it. In U.S. military parlance "active duty" means you're a regular. The opposite is what the Reserve/National Guard are and even then you have categories within the Guard and Reserves as some are "active Guard/Reserve" (one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer) and "inactive Guard/Reserve" who have made other arrangements and show up once a year for a prolonged period over the summer. Something like that.

I came across this slight confusion some years ago when British and British-trained soldiers confused the term "active duty" with "active service."
Sorry, @Col B, but that wasn't one of holes I picked in it nor was I confused by it, since as I said " according to the study it clearly just means serving rather than retired so includes clerks, cooks, drivers and all the other myriad of equally important but not necessarily physically arduous or demanding jobs", although obviously some of those making the comments you referred to are.

The only point I am confused by, though, is the difference between 'retired military' and 'veterans' and how 'veterans (not retired)' can make up 42% of those who replied to the survey, 'retired military' = 18%, and 'active duty' = 35% (page 5 of the original survey). I'm guessing by 'veterans' they mean those who've done an operational tour somewhere and are still serving, but even that makes little sense given parts of the report.

As I've said, more than once, my point is that it's making comparisons based on statistics gathered in two totally different ways (one from medical reports, one from personal responses to an on-line survey) so no valid comparison can be made and some of the guesses as to 'reasons why', like hot plastic water bottles, seem just a tad absurd.

TBH it really is an incredibly bad survey that draws baseless conclusions and contradicts itself throughout. For example: "Unfortunately, the medical options available to military women who have unintended pregnancies are limited to just one option; carry to term, unless the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or the life of the mother is in danger. ..... in total, 81 military women reported terminating their pregnancies and they did so with little or no assistance from MTF or Veteran Health Administration (VHA) providers even after seeking assistance from them." If 81 servicewomen terminated their pregnancies then clearly carrying to term isn't the only medical option available, regardless of whether the abortion's done with or without MTF or VHA support - it may, possibly, be the only option available at an MTF but that's far from the only option available, particularly if those who are pregnant and having an abortion don't want their chain of command to know as the report says should be the case.

The report just seems to be an attempt to get the military and VHA to provide fertility treatment and abortions for free because not getting pregnant (and getting pregnant) are somehow the military's fault.
 
Severe criticism will follow unfilled quotas, followed by a further lowering of standards in order to get that box ticked.
 
Severe criticism will follow unfilled quotas, followed by a further lowering of standards in order to get that box ticked.
"will" ?

It already has ... and that's just for the quota of men. Blaming women (and age) for the massive drop being set in the required male standard is convenient but disingenuous.
 
I knew you'd be the one to pick holes in it. In U.S. military parlance "active duty" means you're a regular. The opposite is what the Reserve/National Guard are and even then you have categories within the Guard and Reserves as some are "active Guard/Reserve" (one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer) and "inactive Guard/Reserve" who have made other arrangements and show up once a year for a prolonged period over the summer. Something like that.

I came across this slight confusion some years ago when British and British-trained soldiers confused the term "active duty" with "active service."
Actually AGR is a Full Time National Guardsmen or reservist. Most are readiness NCO's, Supply and Training, Clerks at State HQ, Range Control................ etc. They can do 20 years as fulltimers while nominally in a part time unit

There is also the ADSW Active Duty Special Work- If you've been to NYC you will see armed soldiers in Penn Station and other sites. these are "M" day soldiers brought onto active duty for up to 2 years at a time

Then the rest are "M" day (Mobilization) one weekend a month 2-3 weeks a year traditional guardsmen

then you have ING- Inactive national guard. These are members excused for up to 1 year from drill status due to family issues, schools, work. they receive no pay, no credit towards retirement while on ING status
 
Depends on all sorts of factors: whether they forgot to take the pill, condom split, coil moved, were on antibiotics, etc.
Some surprising stats here:Can you get pregnant on birth control?

The effectiveness of barrier methods vary. According to the CDC, barrier methods are 12–28 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Diaphragms and male condoms are the most effective of these methods, while spermicide is the least likely to prevent pregnancy.

Natural methods of birth control have a very high failure rate. According to the CDC, withdrawal has a 22 percent failure rate, while fertility awareness methods fail 24 percent of the time.
I think the biggest problem is self selection bias in the polling methodology. If they wanted to get proper epidemiological on these data they'd do a case-control study.

Self-selection bias - Wikipedia

Case–control study - Wikipedia
 
I think the biggest problem is self selection bias in the polling methodology. If they wanted to get proper epidemiological on these data they'd do a case-control study.

Self-selection bias - Wikipedia

Case–control study - Wikipedia
Exactly my point, Bob-t-b. While the survey had 799 replies it doesn't say how many were asked - there's just no way you can compare the replies they received with the known general stats.

As for the 58% failure rate for those using contraceptives, it simply doesn't make any sense under normal circumstances and it makes even less given the supposed 40% with fertility issues. Put the two together, having taken them in isolation, and you end up with women in the US military having a 58% chance of becoming pregnant when they don't want to and use contraceptives and a 40% chance of not becoming pregnant when they do want to, give it their best shot and don't use contraceptives. That only leaves 2%.

Absolute nonsense, obviously, and fundamentally flawed maths, but nevertheless the maths and logic the survey uses.
 
"will" ?

It already has ... and that's just for the quota of men. Blaming women (and age) for the massive drop being set in the required male standard is convenient but disingenuous.
Because throughout history, the survival of the less capable warrior is always assured, thereby the strongest and most capable lose the battle, and then the war.
John G, sponsor of snowflake warfare.
 

Colonel Blimp

War Hero
Actually AGR is a Full Time National Guardsmen or reservist. Most are readiness NCO's, Supply and Training, Clerks at State HQ, Range Control................ etc. They can do 20 years as fulltimers while nominally in a part time unit

There is also the ADSW Active Duty Special Work- If you've been to NYC you will see armed soldiers in Penn Station and other sites. these are "M" day soldiers brought onto active duty for up to 2 years at a time

Then the rest are "M" day (Mobilization) one weekend a month 2-3 weeks a year traditional guardsmen

then you have ING- Inactive national guard. These are members excused for up to 1 year from drill status due to family issues, schools, work. they receive no pay, no credit towards retirement while on ING status
You are absolutely right. I had forgotten all of that stuff. I did a lot of ADSW when I was in the Guard, or as much as I could. Thanks for that.
 

Colonel Blimp

War Hero
Sorry, @Col B, but that wasn't one of holes I picked in it nor was I confused by it, since as I said " according to the study it clearly just means serving rather than retired so includes clerks, cooks, drivers and all the other myriad of equally important but not necessarily physically arduous or demanding jobs", although obviously some of those making the comments you referred to are.

The only point I am confused by, though, is the difference between 'retired military' and 'veterans' and how 'veterans (not retired)' can make up 42% of those who replied to the survey, 'retired military' = 18%, and 'active duty' = 35% (page 5 of the original survey). I'm guessing by 'veterans' they mean those who've done an operational tour somewhere and are still serving, but even that makes little sense given parts of the report.

As I've said, more than once, my point is that it's making comparisons based on statistics gathered in two totally different ways (one from medical reports, one from personal responses to an on-line survey) so no valid comparison can be made and some of the guesses as to 'reasons why', like hot plastic water bottles, seem just a tad absurd.

TBH it really is an incredibly bad survey that draws baseless conclusions and contradicts itself throughout. For example: "Unfortunately, the medical options available to military women who have unintended pregnancies are limited to just one option; carry to term, unless the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or the life of the mother is in danger. ..... in total, 81 military women reported terminating their pregnancies and they did so with little or no assistance from MTF or Veteran Health Administration (VHA) providers even after seeking assistance from them." If 81 servicewomen terminated their pregnancies then clearly carrying to term isn't the only medical option available, regardless of whether the abortion's done with or without MTF or VHA support - it may, possibly, be the only option available at an MTF but that's far from the only option available, particularly if those who are pregnant and having an abortion don't want their chain of command to know as the report says should be the case.

The report just seems to be an attempt to get the military and VHA to provide fertility treatment and abortions for free because not getting pregnant (and getting pregnant) are somehow the military's fault.
Sorry it's taken so long for me to reply. If I were you, I'd write to the guy, or gal, who penned the article and take him, or her, to task. You are nothing if not precise.
 
As I said, I'm not an expert but I think a 58% failure rate is a pretty good indicator that they're doing something wrong ... and if 40% have 'fertility problems' already that indicates an even higher failure rate among the 60% who don't have such problems.

The main problem with the survey is that it doesn't compare like with like. The national rate of 12% experiencing 'fertility problems' is based, apparently, on medical reports; the survey rate of 40% is based on those replying to an on-line survey. The two aren't comparable.
Made me laugh, that.
 
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