Majority support for allowing women in combat roles

March 23, 2016, 2:30 PM GMT+0

Most Americans support women in combat roles – and including women in the draft

Since the first women began serving in integrated units in 1948 the role of women in the American military has grown and become increasingly important, and as the range of roles open to women increased women have served, fought and died in combat zones despite officially being prohibited from combat roles. Over the past three years, however, the Department of Defense has begun to integrate women into all units. The Navy and the Air Force have almost completed integration, and in the Army integration is proceeding rapidly, but the Marine Corps had unsuccessfully tried to prevent women from serving in their infantry or armor units.

YouGov's research shows that Americans largely support (65%) rather than oppose (29%) the decision to allow women into combat roles in the military. Support is much more decisive among Democrats (80% to 15%) and independents (61% to 31%) than it is among Republicans, who are split 48% to 47% on the decision.

There is majority support (52%) for including women in the draft in the future, as the Department of Defense has called for. But it is slightly lower than support for allowing women to serve in combat roles, largely as a result of lower support among women. While 68% of women, and 63% of men, support women in combat, support (46%) for drafting women only slightly outweighs opposition (40%) among women. 60% of men support including women in any future draft.

Currently only one country in the world, Israel, conscripts women but infantry service for women in Israel is limited to one battalion.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.