Camille Hackney ’13 presented on a study she performed on college women choosing the military as a post-graduate option. Looking at Agnes Scott College students planning to or discussing the possibility of joining the military.
Hackney’s research questions included 1) the likelihood of ASC students to join the military, 2) the motivations for joining the military, 3) and the contributing factors leading to the decision to chose to join the military. Hackney believes that Agnes Scott students considering the military are equally likely to consider graduate school and full time employment. The literature she reviewed focused primarily on high school students so Hackney’s study contributes to the body of research on college students and the military. After getting IRB approval, Hackney proceeded to formulate a SurveyMonkey survey to assess the viewpoints of her peers. Studying fifteen participants in short interviews, Hackney then utilized sociological data analysis tools to study her findings.
The majority of ASC students (59.1%) will definitely not choose to join the military. Hackney found a trend that African American students were more likely to state they probably or definitely would join the military and that white students were more likely to state they probably or definitely would NOT join the military. Hackney discussed the intersection of race and job opportunities with the military being a viable option for races otherwise discriminated against either educationally or socioeconomically. The military accepts all who meet physical requirements, regardless of race.
Students reported the top five motivations for joining: a stable income, traveling the world, helping further education, healthcare benefits, and the honor of serving the United States.
Students also reported the reasons not to join: not wanting to fight in a war, having no desire to serve, being worried about being a female in the military, and negative stories they’ve heard about military experiences from people they know who have served.
Hackney concluded that the majority of ASC students would not join the military. Even so, factors like travel and healthcare have influenced Scotties’ decisions to enlist. She listed her biases as personally having a positive view of the United States Armed Forces, not having a wide knowledge of military rape and sexual trauma (though she reported it came up in her interviews discussing with ASC students), and the phrasing of her questions.
Way to go Camille!