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ARMY TIGHTENS STANDARDS FOR WOMEN

The Army is slightly toughening its physical-fitness standard for women as part of a broader adjustment of physical qualifications for both sexes, officials said Thursday.

The new fitness system will not set standards for women equal to those demanded of men but will require that women be able to do a few more push-ups and finish a two-mile run slightly faster than under the current system, adopted in 1984.

Army officials confirmed the change in advance of a detailed Pentagon presentation of the new standards.

The new standards take into account contemporary knowledge about physiology, training and injury prevention. They also are expected to address a long-standing source of irritation for male soldiers, who resent lower standards for women.

In a report last month reflecting results of a survey of male and female soldiers, an Army panel reported widespread complaints by females of sexual discrimination but also found that males felt aggrieved by some types of sex bias. Among these were what many men saw as women's physical standards that are too easy.

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