Female Submarine Crew Inadvisability Underscored
In October 2005, Molten Eagle offered this: Female Submarine Crew Advisability. Now, NASA has an embarrassing problem with one of its astronettes, also a Captain, USN.
This much may now be clear:
NASA's psychological screening for its astronaut program probably did not differentiate adequately between male and female applicants. This may have been due to simple historical precedent (original astronauts had only been male). More likely, the failing was not an oversight so much as an intended result of a "politically correct view." The PC view holds that gender differences are inconsequential to job performance. The same thinking not only paved the way for very bright and physically fit women to enter the astronaut program, it ushered in fast track mechanisms for achieving rank and opportunities that are usually exrtremely competitive.
Regarding assigning women crew on U.S. submarines, much has been written. Many with and without impressive submarining experience are against the proposition for a variety of reasons stemming from women's health issues to berthing and privacy requirements. One, for example said: Personally, as an officer, I would not have wanted women on my crew, even if the women were better performers.
Another submarine officer holds a popular contrasting view: My recommendation is that if women must be integrated into the force, they come in as senior officers.
As in Captain. Therein lies the rub. Submarine psychological screening may well have been the basis for NASA's astronaut screening monograph. Imagine the female astronaut, Captain, USN assigned as CO of a ballistic missile submarine (larger vessels which afford more privacy and space needs). Not very funny, is it?
Although one poor example must not be the basis for a generalized conclusion, the single case is enough to invalidate all of the psychological screens used to date for female astonauts.
In fact, it should be a wake up call for a lot of people in high places. Are you listening?