Back in the day, when I was a WAC, I was lucky to be given arms training. And I was glad to have it, not because I was particularly bloodthirsty, but because I knew my military occupational specialty would land me where I might NEED to combat effective. As it happened, I served my entire tour behind the Berlin Wall with about 20 divisions of the Soviet Army around me...so yes, had the "balloon gone up" as they put it, I would have needed to know somewhat what I was doing.
I feel likewise about combat arms for women; I frankly think the majority of women are NOT physiologically set for it; not in mixed units. I know, I know...what a terribly UNfeminist thing to say....but it is said based on knowledge of what the job entails. I think training to survive in combat is befitting for anyone in military service, however.
Personally, even on my best day in the Army, I would not have wanted to be assigned to a combat arms position with men; I would consider my small size likely to create a burden endangering more than just my own life. I would, without regret, serve in an all female unit of some sort where an equity of size and strength and dedication to a necessary task in service to ACTUALLY defending my country. But these days? That is not what the military is used for...underpaid mercenaries serving for "American interests" does not interest me.
I've been feasting on a number of Jared Diamond's books.the last few weeks and would recommend "The third Chimpanzee" which I just finished reading, and would first make the observation that Diamond has called the human animal much better than another well known writer known in these parts, a certain individual whose first name is Albert and last name rhymes with crock. Read Diamond'sbooks if you want more insight into this subject, although from some of the reviews, I would tend to believe his latest book, released on Dec.31, 2012 wouldhave more to say on this subject than even the chimpanzee book
The real reason to allow women in combat is, societies accord respect to people who they view as members of the category of fighters, whether they fight literally or not.
Even before this, news reports about homeless women who are identified as military veterans seem much more respectful, and much less insistent on describing passive victims or dependents, than reports about homeless women in general.
The real reason not to allow women or gay men in combat is, they might laugh.