Academics at the university advised high-ranking members of the Corps should no longer refer to instructors as “sir” or “ma’am,” the Daily Caller reported.
The Army, Navy and Coast Guard have started moving away from gendered terms, and now refer to training staff by their last name or as “drill instructor.”
The Warrior Human Performance Research Center, a neuromuscular research lab University of Pittsburgh, performed a $2 million study into gender-integrated recruit training in collusion with the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition.
The study resulted in 738 page report published in June. It found that there is “lack of common definition of gender integration at recruit training.”
Despite this finding, authors argued that gender-integrated training is beneficial for training because it fights gender biases and stereotypes and allows for greater diversity.
They also argued that co-ed training increases motivation and competition.
The authors blamed the Corps’ lack of female representation up to this point on “sexist and derogatory language in the training environment,” and found that male service members “showed benevolent and hostile sexism” more frequently than their female counterparts.
The Marine Corps has the lowest percentage of female members of any branch of the military.
While the proposal to drop gendered terms is currently under consideration, it is not clear what direction high-ranking staff are leaning in.
“That’s going to take some effort,” said Col. Howard Hall, acting Chief of Staff for the Marine Corps Training and Education Command. “Honestly, that’s not a quick fix. What are the inculcating in our young recruits that will or will not be reinforced when they graduate and enter the fleet Marine Force?”
“So again, we want to avoid any quick-fix solutions that introduce perturbations down the line,” he added.