Murphy's Law: October 24, 2003


The navy has had women working aboard ships for over twenty years, and next year it will be ten years since women were allowed to serve on warships (but not subs). Lessons have been learned. A few women in a crew can cause problems, but once about twenty percent of the crew is female, most of the problems disappear. But there are still problems. Although there is not supposed to be any sexual activity between male and female sailors, there is. At any given time, 15-20 percent of female sailors are pregnant. It's not unusual for ships on long cruises to have up to a third of their female sailors get pregnant. The navy does nothing to deal with birth control (other than declare seagoing sex a no-no) and the sailors (usually the female sailors) make their own arrangements, or not, as the case may be. Officers have found that some women will get pregnant before a ship or unit is to be deployed overseas. But there are men who will also try to arrange an injury or some other event that will keep them at home. Goldbricks, as they are called, are found in both genders. It's just that the women have another angle they can work. Many of the pregnant sailors are not married, and often have the kid and remain unmarried. The military is very good to single mothers, although this provides additional headaches for commanders who must deal with single parents who are having problems taking care of the kids while still doing their duty.


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