Linda Chavez

Funny, those same feminists seem to believe quite differently when it comes to putting other young men and women together under similar, if less life-threatening situations. Most college campuses these days take it for granted that students will have sex during their years on campus. Many schools provide condoms in the dorms, access to other forms of birth control, lectures on sexual activity (even classes for college credit whose subject matter is the study of sexual activity in various forms). It's just assumed, you put young people together and sex naturally follows.

But the consequences for love affairs gone wrong, rivalry among suitors or even the distraction that sex can provide from other duties are very different in a college setting than they are in the middle of battle.

Unit cohesion is a major factor in the success of any military objective. Inject sexual rivalry and tension into a small group of soldiers whose decisions mean life and death, and you are likely to get more of the latter.

Yes, men and women can bond in non-sexual ways, but sexual attraction is one of the most powerful human emotions. To ignore it and pretend that it can be overcome without great effort is foolhardy. And jealousy is nearly as powerful an emotion as love. What happens when a couple in a unit breaks up but must still work side-by-side, facing an enemy whose sole purpose is to kill them? And when pregnancies occur -- as they inevitably will -- what happens then? Do you allow a physically fit pregnant solider to risk not only her life but that of her unborn child, too?

It is unfortunate that the Obama administration acted unilaterally without putting this issue up for open and honest debate before Congress and the public. By acting unilaterally -- no accident I'm sure, right after the president's re-inauguration -- the administration has done a disservice to the American people and the finest military in the world.

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .

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