I put it down to Janice Lester refusing to admit she
was unfit, and made it (in her mind) a sexist conspiracy. Trek had to live in it's time, even as it pushed the envelope, so it could only push so far.
On the subject of Lt Palamas, even today, many women go to college just to earn their MRS, and we see some of that in the military, too. Not saying it's the reason for that line, or that it's right.