Assessing Patterns of Change in Anthropometric Dimensions: Secular Trends of U.S. Army Females, 1946-1988
Contributor(s)ARMY NATICK RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
KeywordsSociology and Law
Personnel Management and Labor Relations
Anatomy and Physiology
HUMAN BODY SIZE
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AbstractThis report presents an analysis of data gathered in 1946, 1977, and 1988 anthropometric surveys of U.S. Army women to assess long-term changes in body dimensions. Fifteen dimensions are analyzed for two racial groups: Whites and Blacks. The results of these analyses describe trends that are slow, erratic, and yet statistically significant as linear models. Several hypotheses, drawn from conventional explanations of secular trends, were tested against the anthropometric trends observed in Army women. However, the application of these hypotheses was deemed to be either inappropriate for these data or unsatisfactory in their ability to explain the observed phenomena. It is concluded that shifting cultural forces that influence which women join the Army are the most likely cause of the observed patterns. Because these cultural actions have undergone so much change in the last half of the 20th century, it is impossible to establish a basis for predicting the anthropometric dimensions of future populations. Therefore, it is recommended that race-specific data from the most recent anthropometric survey of Army women (1988) be utilized with appropriate race-specific weights to predict Army women's body dimension values in the near future. The report includes a section on the history of women in the Army and numerous figures and tables, including four figures with anthropometric data on White and Black males.