Everyone Was Equal for Two Days

rangerette-benjaminBLUF: A new commander decided he was going to really get his MI company out of the rut they were in, and he was going to start with PT’ing them into the dust.

After two runs, female sniveling was approaching breakdown level. He got accused of humiliating his women officers, and fell all over himself in a Cultural Revolution style self-criticism session.

He considers this to have been a valuable leadership lesson, in communications specifically, and  if he can sustain this level of groveling to his subordinates — particularly the distaff ones — he’ll go far in the game of “Army 2.0: My Career is Everything.” Fortunately, he’s branched MI already, so it’s not like he can do much damage to a performing branch of the Army. Let’s pick up Captain Clueless’s story:

As the new commander of a Military Intelligence Company, I determined to change the culture within my organization. In my estimation, the unit needed to shift more to mental and physical toughness, and move on from a year of reset. To do this, I placed a heavy emphasis on soldiering first, and being an Intelligence professional second.

One of the first actions I took to shake things up was a plan to “smoke” the unit during a Company run. I told the Platoon Leaders and Platoon Sergeants that I would be implementing a Physical Training policy for individuals who fell out of any unit run. Those individuals would be put into the remedial PT program until they completed the same echelon run. I instructed the leaders to pass the word and emphasize the impact of falling out of a Battalion or Brigade run.

When the big day finally came, I took the Company down Battalion Avenue for our first run together. We ran the first mile in seven minutes, and then slowed the run down to allow everyone to catch up. As I looked back on the formation I saw the majority of the formation struggling to keep up, but was pleased that everyone was still pushing.

At the conclusion of the run I addressed the Company. I told them how proud I was that no one quit, and re-emphasized my policy on falling out of runs. I spoke of the importance of physical and mental toughness, and challenged the view that MI professionals needed to be technically proficient more than they needed to be physically tough.

At this point I incorrectly assumed that I had successfully set a new standard for the unit, and that I had adequately articulated my intent.

So he did it again. And what happened?

I ended the PT session with the game of ultimate frisbee, with me on the losing team and my Soldiers seemingly in high spirits after the short run and impromptu sports PT session.

snowflake 2I believed all was right with the world, and it was not until I released the Company that I noticed a talented Platoon Leader visibly upset. I asked her if everything was okay, and thankfully she had the courage to answer.

The Platoon Leader asked me if my intent that morning was “to humiliate every female leader in the Company?” I was floored. She then pointed out that every female Officer and NCO in the Company fell back during the run, and according to my stated policy, would now be part of the remedial PT program.

After an explanation and what certainly sounds like some groveling in response to that ancient all-purpose Leatherman of the manipulative woman’s toolkit, to wit, tears, he realized that he couldn’t just do a Personal Presidential Apology Tour for Little Lieutenant You Go Grrl; instead he had to publicly abase himself before all the unit women, validating their belief that they are all Unique and Special Snowflakes®.

So he did.

I explained this to the Platoon Leader, but immediately realized it was not enough. I gathered all the female leaders later that morning and apologized to them for my carelessness and shortsightedness. I followed this up during the closeout formation by clearly explaining my intent and end state to the Company, and formally apologized to those who I had set up for failure by running at that pace.

And, of course, he never did that again. Because more important than challenging the unit to elevate its game and raise its standards, is the Unwritten Army Law that one must never, ever, inconvenience or bother the sacred Feels of Lieutenant You Go Grrl and her entire playset. When it comes down to unit readiness or Unique and Special Snowflake® Self-Esteems™, you know what’s going to win. Every time.

Update: Four Thoughts

First, leadership of MI troops is a particular challenge because they tend to be intelligent, sarcastic, and profoundly narcissistic. Bradley Manning is not as much of an outlier as you might think. Their training, which often reinforces their belief that they are Incredibly Special, only amplifies the narcissism.

But there is a problem of soldier skills and soldier ethos in these isupport units and the underlying problem is unlikely to be solved by the well-meaning but weak officer’s decision to use PT as a threat and a punishment (which is exactly how the prospect of extra PT was perceived by Lieutenant You Go Grrl). No matter where you serve, some of your troops will love PT and do it extensively on their own, and some will hate it and do as little as possible. Even the fitness fanatics may not enjoy running in formation. Generally, that’s only fun for the ego leading the pack, not for the rest of the sled dogs. Threatening your Joes and Janes with more PT if you don’t like their PT performance just moves soldiers from the “enjoys PT” to the “avoids PT” bin.

Third, one is amazed that Captain Clueless here and Lieutenant You Go Grrl and her peers thought that everyone in the unit didn’t know the women couldn’t run a seven minute pace. An eight-minute pace on an it-counts two-minute run gets women within a few points of a max 100 PT score. But it is possible they didn’t know because the pop culture, the academic feminist movement, and careerist Army women officers are all in deep denial about sexual dimorphism in homo sapiens. 

Finally, there are some that insist that standards are not lowered for women. Read this article and the source with a critical eye.

27 thoughts on “Everyone Was Equal for Two Days

  1. Alan Ward

    A true leader’s response would have been to tell her the intent was not to humiliate anyone but to point out areas of improvement that could be reached by those in need.
    As a 5’9″ 200lb butterball in ninth grade, even I could run an 8 minute mile.
    He should also have reminded SSnF that improved physical fitness leads to improved intellectual fitness.
    Instead he caved.

  2. Aesop

    But when equality revealed a glaring inability of Lt. Special Snowflake and the Princess Platoon to perform to an otherwise common standard, reality was “humiliating” to all those Combat Barbies.

    This is my shocked face, and the result of such a doubleplusungood War On Women wasn’t that they had to go, but rather that the performance standard had to.

    “Ranger School cadre, call your office…”

    At this rate, the “special” in Special Forces will soon have more in common with Jerry’s Kids and the eponymous Special Olympics, than it does with its historical martial meaning.

    As an added bonus, every male soldier in that caterpillar of group failure will now be performing far below their abilities, and their fitness will actually decline, to keep from embarrassing and humiliating the members of the Princess Platoon. Which gives a whole new meaning to Army Strong.

    Maybe they could just let the Wannabee Warriors start their group run several minutes ahead of the men, thus ensuring that they’d all finish together, when the men catch up. Both groups could then run to their potential.
    Alternatively, the men could simply carry the women, literally as well as figuratively, exactly like they probably do every day in dozens of other less literal ways.
    Either way, the women won’t get embarrassed ever again, at least until they’re running for their lives some day, at which point the problem will self-correct once and for all.

    And that captain should be cashiered, for leadership failure. Not for the first run, but for every one after that.

    Thank goodness the Currahee runs at Toccoa in 1942-3 were already documented in Band Of Brothers for posterity, otherwise no one would ever believe the military used to be like that.
    Probably time to pull it off the shelf and watch it again before the 6th of June rolls around.

    1. archy

      ***And that captain should be cashiered, for leadership failure. Not for the first run, but for every one after that.*** Being killed by the enemy, along with his command, will be more likely, and even more fitting.

  3. mobius

    We’ll have to call it “The Special” Forces.
    The Short Branch?
    I know Special Needs Forces. mmm
    Snowflake Battalion?

    This sounds like a wonderful plan to reduce our military capability to third world levels, but it’s probably just more stupid rabbit shit.

  4. Loren

    I read that a group of Ft. Carson soldiers, some reports said SF. had to be airlifted off Longs Peak yesterday. The route they were taking is a long walk to 14 K but not technical and one I’ve done in earlier days. They said they were suffering from altitude sickness. Another way of saying they were huffing and puffing and it really was really hard and they wanted out of there.
    Bet the Russians posted that pic up there with the formation of guys in red heels.

    1. Aufklärungs

      Hi Loren -Too nuanced … what’s your point? One has to be well acclimated not to suffer physical distress at altitudes approaching 14K, red heels or no heels. Q-Course graduates are well aware of the restrictive biophysics involved, and, unless e&e-ing, are well prepared prior to tackling like challenges. After confirming if the unfortunates were SF or nay, perhaps you can provide a gender profile of the formation as well. Wardrobe and accessories details are optional.

      1. Loren

        Hi Panzer,
        Fort Carson is above 6,000 ft. The men were special forces. Few if any people get altitude sickness at 14,000 Ft. especially after being acclimated at 6000ft, Might get a headache as I did when returning to my 9.400 ft. residence after a long absence. As you might know, air pressure is exponential. 14K is nothing as is Longs Peak climb as long as you’re not on the Diamond route which they weren’t.
        I worked with Igor Ganow. Not as famous as his father George, but a world renown expert in high altitude sickness and if I can climb it with a few beers in my backpack and no training, I’d expect these special soldiers to do the same.
        That un-nuanced enough?

        1. TF-BA

          “I can climb it with a few beers in my backpack”

          Ding ding ding.
          We have a winner.

          I’m gonna go out on a limb here and bet those boys can climb it just fine with a few beers in their backpacks. Just on speculation, there may be a reason, besides woodpecker lips, that one of those boys walked home. At least that’s how it’s being reported.

          FYI- there has never been anything special about me, ever.

    2. Ti

      I can see the summit of Long’s from my house here. I’ve been up there with no problems and I’ve been up there where I’ve had such a skull splitting headache that I turned around. When your day to get alt sickness comes, you don’t have a choice anymore. It’s a training mission – they learned some things today – and they made it up to the top for rescue. Mission accomplished.

      Looks like an AS350 picked em up. Nice high altitude machine.

      1. Hillbilly

        I’ve been up Pikes Peak 3 times. Two of the times I went up I had no issues, but the one time I ended up with a splitting headache. The first time I went up we did it as a unit and several people that had been at Ft Carson longer than I had had similar issues.
        I don’t think a team guy is going to call for a ride unless it’s really bad just because of the amount of crap he’d catch if there wasn’t something seriously wrong.

      2. Hognose Post author

        Yes, they were SF, from 10th SFG.

        Yes, you can get altitude sickness including HAPE and HACE even if you’re acclimatized, and even if you have lots of high altitude experience.

        Yes, you can get altitude sick at 14k even if you’re fit. At 10k, even. (Some of the cases of “air rage” we’ve seen probably result from altitude (cabin pressure is usually maintained at about 8k equivalent during cruise) combined with the deoxygenating effects of drugs and/or Judgment Juice™.

        Why you can get altitude sickness one day and not another, I dunno. A lot of altitude physiology is well documented and understood, but the seemingly random onset of altitude sickness is not.

        The only remedy is a higher pressure environment. For some mountaineering tasks we had a portable recompression chamber, but mostly it means evac to lower altitude forthwith.

        I’ve been over 14k on the ground a lot, lived at over 13k for some time, and never had any altitude problems. But I don’t assume I wouldn’t, next time.

        1. archy

          ***Why you can get altitude sickness one day and not another, I dunno.***

          Symptoms of AMS/ Altitude Sickness include feeling hungover, flu-like symptoms, and, as hypoxia-trained aviators can tell you, apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. It seems likely that if any of those conditions are actually present, even slightly, stress exposure to altitude is not going to improve matters.

  5. Buckaroo

    “thankfully she had the courage to answer. The Platoon Leader asked me if my intent that morning was “to humiliate every female leader in the Company?”

    Put that woman in charge of PsyOps. Could she have undermined and humiliated her adversary any more efficiently? Humiliating him while accusing him of being humiliating was a psychological masterstroke. Devastating kill shot.

    Also…having never served, I’m unclear on how these relationships work, but given that her adversary in this case was her superior officer, couldn’t this episode be interpreted as gross insubordination? Not like I’m defending the Captain, he got what he deserved.

  6. W. Fleetwood

    A small point. At one time formation runs were fun things enjoyed by almost all. Of course, that was when it was considered good form to run your company through another units area proclaiming loudly that your unit was the best there was and the other unit fell into another, shall we say, category. Then a hard left onto main base and make all the REMFs sit in their cars and wait on your unit. Always rewarding, especially the third time you countermarch in the same intersection and one can see the smoke coming out their little REMF ears. I don’t know that the above actually contributed all that much to physical fitness but it was great for inculcating the Us vs. Them worldview that is at the heart of unit morale.

    I can imagine the fate of a unit CO who took their unit on such a run today. Too bad, really, and really too bad.

    Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

    1. Cap'n Mike

      Its been 20 years, but I still hate those guys in Company L!!! :)

      Commandant: Gentlemen, we now have a girl cadet among our ranks, so there are going to be a few changes. First of all, Franklin, you are no longer the girliest cadet here.
      Franklin: (in a very effeminate voice) Well, we’ll see about that.
      Commandant: Second of all, this is now the girls’ barracks, so pack your things, you’re moving in with Company L.
      Cadet: Company L? But they smell!
      Commandant: Yes, we’ve all heard the chant… Now fall out!

  7. looserounds.com

    It sounds terrifying to be in the military now a days to me. and I ain’t even talking about bad guys trying to kill ya. The scary part to me is the idea of trying to have a career in a places where you have to live like that or be accused of being a racist or women hater or gay hater and having your life ruined forever.

  8. DAN III

    The time for MIMs (Males In the Military) to start shunning female troops is long past due. Rather, the Millenial males gladly embrace their stress-fractured female counterparts as being their equals. Seeing as fUSA’s military has been all volunteer now for nearly 50 years, the esmasculated, feminized, American military male deserves what he volunteered for.

    The social justice warriors will rue the day they joined fUSA’s military and embraced soetoro-obama implementation of “fundamental change”.

  9. Kirk

    The whole thing is going to end in tears, mark my words.

    I was around when they first started putting women into the Combat Support branches, at least in the HHCs. We made it “work”, for a certain value of work, but I went from being supportive/ambivalent to the point I’m at now, where I’m completely against it–It’s a horrible idea, especially for the US military that’s never met a standard it could keep to under civilian/political pressure.

    This example/anecdote is just another example of why the US military, in particular the Army, cannot make this work. They’re not even going to try to hold the standards, and the delusional scuts are going to take over the asylum, while the sane leave for other quarters. The likely effect this is going to have on the battlefield…? Yeah. Can’t wait to see it on CNN, and how they’re going to try to put the blame on the Army while ignoring their own role in the disaster.

    Looking at the recent incident down at Fort Hood, I have to wonder what role the females on that truck played in this. Were any of the drownings due to a lack of physical strength? Did the males drown trying to save the females? I am going to make a bet, right now: If any of that turns out to have played a role in the tragedy, we’ll never hear about it.

    Women in the military have a role. But, that role needs to be carefully managed, and we need to ensure that we’re not setting up men and women for failure with our desire to be “equal”. I watched that shit work out multiple times in my career, and the delusional beliefs I saw on display in many of the decision-making processes were incredible.

    Couple of cases in point that I observed: I lost one of my best junior NCOs to a back injury, one that I can directly trace to the Army’s completely delusional choice to enlist flyweight females as fuel truck operators, in full knowledge that the HEMTT trucks their MOS are intended to “woman” have great big tires that they’ll have to change under field conditions. Along with that, the idiots who write the MTOE seem to think that a vehicle which requires two licensed operators to actually run in the field only requires one slot on the MTOE… In any event, putting a 110-lb woman into an MOS where she will have to horse around tires that weigh upwards of 300-lbs, and which she can’t even effectively and safely assist another operator with? I lost my guy due to the fact that he had to go looking for our fuel truck, found it with an operator who couldn’t cope with a flat tire, and then when he had to help her change the damn thing, she dropped her end of the load, putting all the weight on him unexpectedly. Cue lower back injury when that tore out almost every attachment point along his spine, and we have a promising young NCO’s career cut short, and a hefty medical retirement to pay for. Given that none of my other male troops would have been likely to have crapped out the way she did, I have to lay that directly on the doorstep of the Army having put her there.

    Had another case I can think of–I Corps “jump TOC”, which was the forward command post we ran for contingencies. When we had a former 2/75 Ranger Battalion SGM running the show out there, it was an all-male affair. We had a requirement to be able to displace that thing in 45 minutes, which for the amount of crap it had, was quite the achievement. We only did that with an all-male crew, officer and enlisted, and the “O’s” worked just as hard as the NCOs and privates to make that happen. That SGM left to retire, we got a new guy in, and the female officer bitches agitated to “get on the jump TOC” because… Reasons. Thought it would be good for their fucking careers, or something. New guy capitulated, and we suddenly couldn’t make our time hacks any more for displacement and setup–The fucking cunt agitators wouldn’t do a goddamn thing, and just stood around drinking coffee and watching the rest of us bust our balls carrying their share of the load and ours.

    Shortly after the second or third exercise where we never even came close to hitting the time hacks, they abandoned the standards. Never mind that there were good reasons for them, given that we were slated to be operating in Korea and other locales where such displacements were going to mean life or death…

    Were it not for a tiny minority of female officers, NCOs, and junior enlisted that I’ve worked for and around that were truly superior officers, I’d have no use whatsoever for women in the military. What’s unfortunate is that the percentage is so small, and the fact that these fine soldiers are being utilized in roles for which they are generally manifestly unsuited.

    1. BillC

      Hey, relax. They crowned Miss America to a black Army Reserve Officer (a damn QM at that, imagine that) who used “PTSD Awareness” (Like it needs any more fucking awareness) and said it’s a good thing that woman can now fight, because sisters are tough, as her platform!

    2. archy

      ***The whole thing is going to end in tears, mark my words.***

      I’m betting on blood. Lots and LOTS of blood.

      1. Kirk

        The blood is an assumed intermediate stage… The tears will fall after it is shed unnecessarily.

  10. bloke_from_ohio

    The Captain should have made it a challenge not a smoke session. Get them to rise to the challenge, don’t chase them with a stick. The way you get people to be better is by making them want to be better.

    In some units and situations the desire to avoid the humiliation and pain of a events like bouncing the gates or running Currahee by yourself works. But, that is probably only limited to the types of units that do that sort of thing. And, the success of such punishment based motivation is probably rooted more in the culture of those special/elite units than anything else. An MI company won’t have the same character as say a Q course class, or the WWII era 101st Airborne.

    A better option would be to split the unit into slow medium and fast groups based on their run time from the last APFT or practice APFT. Then put a motivated but intelligent leader in charge of each mini formation that would set a pace that is challenging for that particular group. Push them hard enough to challenge the group, but not enough to destroy them. Make this a reoccurring thing and give the soldiers from the slower groups the chance to throw their lot in with the faster ones. If they can hack it with the faster group for the whole run, recognize them for it. That way you get the soldiers themselves challenging and pushing each other and themselves.

    This way, its not seen in the ranks as “Captain So-and-so is being a dick and making us all look like losers when we can’t run that seven minute mile.” Instead the troops think “Captain So-and-so is recognizing folks for getting better, and I want that recognition.” If you got special little snowflakes that crave recognition, use that!

    The standards for the remedial PT could be built into this system as well by having it be the cutoff pace for your slow group. But, you have to ensure that your standard there is both realistic and defendable. Basing your unit standard off the APFT is not a bad idea in this regard even if those standards are imperfect. An MI unit, especially one that has not historically emphasized excellence in PT, can’t set its own standards that deviate wildly from the rest of Big Army like the Rangers or other similar units can.

    Realistically though, unit runs are probably not the best time to be testing whether your troops need remedial PT. That is probably better done in separate sessions where you do practice PT tests. That way you can measure other things than just running. The APFT is not the best measurement of soldier combat readiness, but it at least looks at more than just a single domain of overall fitness. You as a leader should too.

    1. Hognose Post author

      “The APFT is not the best measurement” is true. It’s designed to be an usable measurement that you can do anywhere without any equipment.

      I have noted that commanders whose hobby is running for hours (cough McChrystal cough) tend to look only at the run as a measure of a subordinate’s value. I’ve never been asked, “Did he get a 300?” but a lot of leaders seem interested in two mile times.

      I watched my own status and level of respect change after a parachute accident, when my own two mile time went from the stopwatch to the calendar….

      1. Tierlieb

        Running is easy. You just put in the hours and you get better. The more free time you have, the easier it is to improve. So of course running times become a benchmark for those with more free time than their peers. That’s not just commanders but their civilian equivalents, CEOs and the like, too.

        Personally, I never got “running”. I get marching with heavy loads. I understand walking though/over/under/around obstacles with patrol loads. I see the point of sprinting from cover to cover with combat loads. But running?

        And, as pointed out with “did he get a 300?”, there are other qualifications that are important and usually much harder, though less time-consuming, to achieve.

        1. TF-BA

          I had 0311 USMC 300 pft’ers fall out on combat movements. I didn’t revel in their failure but I was no gazelle and it showed a little. I always ended up with half of the spreadload from them because that’s where doc should be on a movement, checking on his guys who aren’t doing well. I could ruck like a Mf’er because I trained for it in my free time. Time spent running circles in f-me shorts wasn’t going to make me more effective for the team, even if it would have gotten me better treatment in garrison.

          To hell with fast, medium and slow groups. I’ve lived them in the navy and outside of a training command where they will recycle you or revoke your orders, it always results in the A) Teenagers and people who love running and do it all the time group B) people who can run well but aren’t that old yet or are trying to fight the future C) Fat bodies and those filled with hate and discontent D) f-off I’m a woman who can walk her passing time- DON’T YOU TOUCH ME!

          Just imagine doing a unit ruck march with the four groups of dipshits listed above, we tried it on a “just finish” 5k race style and it was close to the most pathetic thing I witnessed in uniform. The truth is that it WOULD have been the most pathetic thing I ever saw if EVERYONE HAD SHOWED UP.

          I’m nobody special and no super athlete. There is only one race that counts; in the infantry the race before it is called “can you keep up?” However there was a PT test score, that was universally admired throughout the entire USMC. The 18. Basically a USMC 300 PFT is 20/100/18:00min 3miles. Now complete all three sections of the PFT at or above max, in the allotted time of 100% of the run. So 20+ pull-ups in 2 min, 100+ crunches in 2 min, 3 mile run in under 14 min.

          “But, that is probably only limited to the types of units that do that sort of thing. (well then why the hell don’t more units emphasize it since it works like onions in fried potatoes?) And, the success of such punishment based motivation is probably rooted more in the culture of those special/elite units than anything else.” Success is Abso-fucking-loutely routed in unit culture, so why is it not in another unit’s culture? I can tell you why. It is because they are fine with sucking. It really has zero to do with being elite or special and everything to do with completing the minimum required to avoid repercussions for the leadership. Basic spreadsheet management, BUT now for National Defense!

          Easter Sunday morning ’08, on the “nobody loves me” side of KAF. I convinced my buddy to come out and do a full combat load hump of I think at least 8 miles, I don’t remember, it wasn’t short, long or easy. What I do remember is that while the entire base was on holiday routine, there was ONE count it, one other dude out there. Full kit, weapon and pack beating himself to death just like us but alone. As we crossed paths I managed to shout a strained RLTW after his tab came into focus. I’m confident he remembers that morning and thinks we were Marines.

          Who knows how many men from a collage of units elite or regular, were winning the only race that counts that Easter morning. I can testify that I didn’t see the “slow group” from where ever pogues go for “pre-positioning” to be close to the coffee shop in an “operational sense” out there getting better or honoring history. There were no lines of hot Miss America types throwing sleeves of water bottles in rucks to make weight. All the while grasping fistfuls of moleskin and tincture of benzoin.

          There were three dudes out there chewing pavement sua sponte. Each of us knew that we needed to be somewhere, at sometime, for someone and the only road to that place was hard.

  11. RSR

    Found this terrifying:
    “Only 30 percent of adult men under 30 identify themselves as “completely masculine,” according to a survey conducted by YouGov. What’s more, 18 percent — almost 1 in every 5 American men — identify themselves as more feminine than masculine. The study included a random sample of men, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

    1. RSR

      Should have included:

      “Research from YouGov shows that the muscular masculinity of decades past is a fading feature of American life for the young. Americans were asked to rate themselves on a scale of 0 to 6, there 0 is ‘completely masculine’ and 6 is ‘completely feminine’. 65% of men over the age of 65 say that they are ‘completely masculine, while only 28% of men aged 30 to 44 and 30% of men aged 18 to 29 say the same. Among under-30s, 13% put themselves halfway between the masculine and the feminine, while 12% say that they are at least slightly feminine. Only 4% of over-65 men say that they are at all feminine. ”

      I wonder if there’s not some biological/environmental input in addition to sociological reasons for these changes –for instance, atrazine pesticide used on corn shows it turns male frogs female…
      “Atrazine, one of the world’s most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

      The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially “dead” because of their inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley’s Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology.

      “These male frogs are missing testosterone and all the things that testosterone controls, including sperm. So their fertility is as low as 10 percent in some cases, and that is only if we isolate those animals and pair them with females,” he said. “In an environment where they are competing with unexposed animals, they have zero chance of reproducing.”

      The 10 percent or more that turn from males into females – something not known to occur under natural conditions in amphibians – can successfully mate with male frogs but, because these females are genetically male, all their offspring are male.

      “When we grow these guys up, depending on the family, we will get anywhere from 10 to 50 percent females,” Hayes said. “In a population, the genetically male females can decrease or wipe out a population just because they skew sex ratios so badly.””

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