February 21, 2013

Strong Support for Lifting Ban on Women in Combat Roles

66%

Two-thirds of the public support the Pentagon’s decision to lift the ban on women in combat roles, including roughly equal numbers of men and women.

Most Americans support the military’s decision to lift restrictions on women in combat. Two-thirds (66%) support allowing women in the military to serve in ground units that engage in close combat; just 26% are opposed.

Majorities of nearly all demographic groups offer support for this. Notably, almost identical percentages of men (65%) and women (66%) support the change.

About three-quarters of Democrats (76%) support allowing women in combat roles, as do 65% of independents. Republicans also favor the change in policy, but by a narrower 55%-37% margin.

Older Americans are less supportive of the change in military policy than younger Americans. Among those 65 and older, 52% support the decision while 36% are opposed. By contrast, more than seven-in-ten of those younger than 50 (72%) support allowing women to serve in combat roles.

There is little difference in views among those who live in a household with someone who has served in the military and those who do not. Overall, 63% of those in veteran households favor the decision compared with 67% of those in non-veteran households. Read more