Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2011

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation argues that the U.S. military's postwar sexual integration efforts initiated a process of redefining women's equality. As a new workplace for women, the U.S. military became a central site for reconsidering women's postwar social and economic roles, well before the rise of second wave feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. As servicewomen, civilians, and military leaders debated women's place in national defense, they simultaneously challenged existing beliefs about women's social roles and slowly helped expand women's equality. The dissertation arcs from the debates over the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 to the Equal Rights Amendment and changes in servicewomen's status during the 1970s. The evolution of women's military roles in those years directly influenced the development of the current military environment, where servicewomen continue to encounter career limitations, discrimination, and sexual harassment and abuse. Women's integration into the U.S. military remains, in many ways, incomplete.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Desiree A White

Committee Members

Deanna M Barch, Denise Head


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Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2111

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