The Norwegian Army recently started to experiment with unisex dorms, with pleasantly surprising results thus far — sexual harassment claims have dropped.
A military base in northern Norway began housing two women together with four men, and the experience has made the women feel more integrated into the team, a Norwegian news website reported.
“You have to be a team here, and then you have to live together in order to be able to trust in one another,” one recruit said, the website reported. She added that the rooms were a “damn good idea.”
Ulla-Britt Lilleaas, co-author of the report “The Army: The Vanguard, Rear Guard and Battlefield of Equality,” wrote in the report that the unisex housing arrangement makes women feel like “one of the boys.”
The study’s co-author, Dag Ellingsen, said that when women are separated from men that an “us and them, boys against the girls” mentality takes shape. She also said that communication lines sometimes falter in a segregated environment, which can cause conflict.