Archives par mot-clé : Américaines

Women at war: The crucible of Vietnam

Parution d’un article intéressant sur les femmes vétérans de la guerre du Viêt-Nam. Accès libre sur Science Direct, mise en ligne le 15 janvier 2017.

Auteur.e.s :

  • Anica Pless Kaiser, VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
  • Daniel H. Kabat, Gold Health Strategies, Inc., New York
  • Avron Spiro III, Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine
  • Eve H. Davison, VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
  • Jeanne Mager Stellman, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York



• Physical health of women deployed to Vietnam was influenced by warzone experiences.
• Career military women Vietnam veterans are happier than women in general population.
• Military and non-military Vietnam service women less likely to marry or have kids.
• Paper provides insight to mostly unstudied lives of American women of Vietnam War.


Relatively little has been written about the military women who served in Vietnam, and there is virtually no literature on deployed civilian women (non-military). We examined the experiences of 1285 American women, military and civilian, who served in Vietnam during the war and responded to a mail survey conducted approximately 25 years later in which they were asked to report and reflect upon their experiences and social and health histories.

We compare civilian women, primarily American Red Cross workers, to military women stratified by length of service, describe their demographic characteristics and warzone experiences (including working conditions, exposure to casualties and sexual harassment), and their homecoming following Vietnam. We assess current health and well-being and also compare the sample to age- and temporally-comparable women in the General Social Survey (GSS), with which our survey shared some measures.

Short-term (<10 years) military service women (28%) were more likely to report their Vietnam experience as “highly stressful” than were career (>20 years; 12%) and civilian women (13%). Additional differences regarding warzone experiences, homecoming support, and health outcomes were found among groups. All military and civilian women who served in Vietnam were less likely to have married or have had children than women from the general population, χ2 (8) = 643.72, p < .001. Career military women were happier than women in the general population (48% were “very happy”, as compared to 38%). Civilian women who served in Vietnam reported better health than women in the other groups. Regression analyses indicated that long-term physical health was mainly influenced by demographic characteristics, and that mental health and PTSD symptoms were influenced by warzone and homecoming experiences. Overall, this paper provides insight into the experiences of the understudied women who served in Vietnam, and sheds light on subgroup differences within the sample.

Lire l’article : Science Direct

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Image “à la une” : Vietnam Women’s Memorial, Washington DC © 2014 FG

H-Diplo Roundtable XV-7 – Heather Marie Stur. Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era

Stur_BeyondCombatHeather Marie Stur’s Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era is a highly original and pioneering book, joining the recent work of Meredith Lair, Seth Jacobs, Kara Dixon Vuic, Andrew Huebner and others in making plain the permeability of boundaries between the American home front and the war zone. We have been long overdue for an ambitious account of gender and the Vietnam War, particularly one that pays attention not only to American women, but to Vietnamese women and GIs, too. Stur reminds us of the powerful hold that the John Wayne-style of American masculinity had on the whole nation during the Cold War, and that it of course extended to the combat zone; but more than that, Stur does well to demonstrate the challenge to – and breakdown of – that myth under the strain of day-to-day life in Vietnam.

The subtlety and ambition of Stur’s analysis draws overwhelming praise from the reviewers writing for this roundtable. On the whole, they like Stur’s use of a wide range of sources, her accessible prose, and her “compelling,” “insightful,” and “innovative” analysis. In general, they praise Stur’s skillful recovery of the ways in which, in Meredith Lair’s words, “Americans in the war zone embraced various ideas about gender that framed and justified the violence of the war itself,” and did much to determine the experiences of both American and Vietnamese women. In Stur’s examination of the Red Cross Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO), for example, “Donut Dollies” brought the complicated tensions of gender and race dynamics from the home front – where those dynamics were working themselves out in sometimes dramatic fashion – to the battle front. And as Kara Dixon Vuic notes in her review, the process worked in the other direction, too, when combat zone sensibilities challenged home front mores – as when women “who expected to serve cool drinks and engage in small talk” ran up against expectations of “soldiers who assumed the women had come to offer another kind of service.”

Read more on H-Diplo (pdf) : Roundtable-XV-7

Personal Website of the author : heatherstur