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Managing Sex in the U.S. Military

Gender, Identity, and Behavior

Beth Bailey

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 05/2022
Pages: 378
Subject: History
eBook ISBN: 9781496230850


The U.S. military is a massive institution, and its policies on sex, gender, and sexuality have shaped the experiences of tens of millions of Americans, sometimes in life-altering fashion. The essays in Managing Sex in the U.S. Military examine historical and contemporary military policies and offer different perspectives on the broad question: "How does the U.S. military attempt to manage sex?" This collection focuses on the U.S. military's historical and contemporary attempts to manage sex—a term that is, in practice, slippery and indefinite, encompassing gender and gender identity, sexuality and sexual orientation, and sexual behaviors and practices, along with their outcomes. In each chapter, the authors analyze the military's evolving definitions of sex, sexuality, and gender, and the significance of those definitions to both the military and American society.


Beth Bailey is Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Department of History and director of the Center for Military, War, and Society Studies at the University of Kansas. Alesha E. Doan is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration and in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. Shannon Portillo is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas. Kara Dixon Vuic is the LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in Twentieth-Century America at Texas Christian University.


"A creative, clear, and comprehensive approach to a topic fraught with long-standing and ongoing controversy. The authors capture the diversity and timeliness of the challenge. This is a must-read for those called to understand and manage sex in the U.S. military."?Patricia M. Shields, editor in chief of Armed Forces and Society

"A pathbreaking book illuminating the history and context of today's struggles for sexual and gender equity and safety in the U.S. military. . . . Managing Sex in the U.S. Military is essential for those who teach war and society, and gender and sexuality studies. A must-read for military members, leaders, policy makers, and elected officials."?Jennifer Mittelstadt, author of The Rise of the Military Welfare State

"Phenomenally important. . . . An invaluable collection of essays from eminent scholars that can help leaders prepare for higher levels of command and offer them perspective on vital topics affecting organizational cohesion and morale."?Gregory A. Daddis, author of Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Cold War Men's Adventure Magazines