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Sexual Assault in the Military

Info: 9993 words (40 pages) Dissertation
Published: 10th Dec 2019

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Tagged: CriminologyMilitaryCriminal Law

The mission of the military is to defend the nation against all foreign and domestic enemies and those who are appointed over them. In order for military members to carry out the mission, they must be combat ready, herby making sure them physically, mentally and spiritually ready. All military members must maintain an environment with good order and discipline. The military judicial system is important to the military’s mission. Civilian judicial systems make laws that have to be upheld by the community and punish those who violate those laws; however, the military judicial system is established to defend the nation. Those who are put in authoritative positions are required to execute out the orders of civilian leaders. The military goal is ultimately to defeat the enemy in wartime.

Sexual assaults is a problem that not only occur in the civilian sector but it also occurs in the military. Sexual assault impacts the victim and every military member. It damages individual and unit confidence, self-esteem, attitudes, and cohesion. Sexual assault dishonors the chain of command and destroys the military organization within and outside and damages trust, which can take away from readiness. Congress is an integral part in the military judicial system. In order for military members to be effective they must be able to trust those who are appointed over them.

Sexual assaults does not only occur in our civilian force but it is a persistent problem within the military. In 2014, there were approximately 20,000 active duty personnel who had experienced sexual assaults. Unfortunately, there is an occurrence of sexual assault happening in military combat zones. During a woman’s military career sexual assaults ranged from 9.5% to 43% compared to 1-12% of men. A recent survey that was conducted concluded 4.9 % of active duty women and 1.0 % percent of active duty men reported being sexually assaulted within the past year. However, the rates of sexual assault for the U.S general population have been estimated at 28–33 % of females and 12–18 % of males. The sexual assaults rates for undergraduate females who attended a 4-year college or university were estimated at nearly 16 % before entering college and 19 % after entering college. Prior to entering the military the rates of sexual assault had reported 30 % among women and 6 % among men, although these military samples can range from 15–49 to 1.5–22.5 %. The Department of Defense (DoD) defined sexual assault as, “intentional sexual contact, characterized by use offeree, physical threat or abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent,” adding that “consent should not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the victim to offer physical resistance” or to be given “when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or unconscious (Sexual Assault in the Military, 2013).”  According to NBC News, in 2016 6,172 reported cases of sexual assault compared to 6,082 in 2015. Fifty-eight percent of the victims experienced reprisals or retaliation for reporting sexual assaults (Sexual assault reports in U.S. military reach record high, Pentagon says, 2017). Although there have been several sexual assault cases that have rocked the United States Military, there have been several sexual assault allegations that has plagued civilian politicians and celebrities. Two of the most recent sexual assault allegations cases were the Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein sex scandals.

Roy Moore, a former judge, who was an Alabama Senate candidate was being accused of sexual misconduct by eight women when he was thirty years old. These women accused him of sexual harassment, unwanted advances and were target of attack when they were teenagers.  Another sexual assault scandal in the public’s eye is Harvey Weinstein. Harvey Weinstein is a Hollywood celebrity who was accused by British actress Kadian Noble for forcing her to engage in sexual acts in 2014. She also stated that Weinstein directed her to come to his hotel room and while in his room he pulled her into a bathroom and made her sexually stroke him.

Sexual assaults and rapes have always been crimes that have happened in the military, however, many of these crimes were held in civilian courts but only when the United States was at war. Beginning in the late 1980’s there were changes that took place in the military judicial system. Therefore, discussion of the historical background and the future of military laws and policies on sexual assaults and rape is important. These laws and policies include the History of American Military Law Before the Twentieth Century, History of Rape at Common Law, The Twentieth-Century Convergence of Military Crimes and Common Law Crimes, 1950: The Uniform Code of Military Justice—A Military Rape Statute for Peacetime and War, Changes in Rape Law in the 1970s and 1980s, and the 2006: Modernizing the Military Rape Statute.

According to Carson and Carson (2017), the history of American Military Law existed prior to the twentieth century. In the United States, the law of rape can be found rooted in the English common law which dates back to the seventieth century. For the first two hundred years of the Republic, the legal definition of rape were the same in both the American and British law. Both laws defined rape as the “unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman against her will or consent (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.2-3).” In order to determine if a sexual crime had been committed, the lack of consent with the use of force, whether the victim was female and was or was not married to the alleged perpetrator. The courts formed “special” legal rules that would protect men from false accusations and rape prosecutions. In other areas of criminal law these rules didn’t exist and the requirement was to find facts that evaluated the victim’s conduct rather than the perpetrator’s conduct. According to one of the special rule requirements, in order for a rape claim to be considered true, the victim had to report a rape immediately after it occurred. In rape cases the courts imposed a final “special” rule” that allowed for a victim’s past sexual behavior be considered proof of consent and any indication of a victim’s promiscuous character could be admissible in courts. For decades these routine “special” rules were used in courts across the country and were not examined until the 1970s, during the same time a growing feminist movement began to develop. In 1972, only 15 states continued to have some form of corroboration stipulation in rape cases but it wasn’t until 2001 when those states finally removed such requirement (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.2 & 3).

History of Rape at Common Law.The overall foundation of American military law is that military trials, also known as courts-martial, were a part of the executive power which was given to Congress on behalf of the President. These court-martials were put into place to help him in directing the army and navy and enforcing discipline and to uphold and maintain good order and discipline. In 1775, the first written American military code was adopted and was founded on the British Articles of War of 1774. Rape was not identified and included in The Articles of War, however, it did include other military-specific offenses. Military members who were accused of rape or committed capital crimes were turned over to local civilian courts for prosecution and sentencing. During the Civil War, Congress was inspired to replace the rules pertaining to rape prosecution and other capital offenses committed by military members. The lack of functioning civil court systems prohibited civil crimes from going to court-martial, because they didn’t not have a place to prosecute military members accused of rape or civilian crimes. In 1863, Congress gave the military authority over their members who were accused of rape, during times of war. This historic legislation changed the military’s role in rape prosecution. For the first time, commanders had the responsibility to send rape allegations made against military members to courts-martial (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.2).

The Twentieth-Century Convergence of Military Crimes and Common Law Crimes. In 1916, before American involvement in World War I, Congress expanded the control of court-martials to include common law felonies such as theft, larceny, manslaughter, maiming, and arson that were committed by military members anywhere in the United States, whether during peacetime or war. However, service members who were accused of rape and murder allegations were prosecuted in local civilian jurisdictions except for those who committed crimes outside of the United States or during war. In 1920, Congress focused on providing guidelines for the rights of the accused, such as pretrial investigations and the presentation evidence. The 1920 Articles of War, under the military law allowed hose who committed sodomy during peacetime or war to be prosecuted by court-martial. For the first time in history, the military justice system held military members accountable. Military members who never had civilian convictions served time in military jails due to court-martial convictions or less than honorable discharges. In the aftermath of World War II, senators and congressmen were overwhelmed with complaints of unfairness, abuse of authority, and unprotected rights that arose from the control and influence that commanders used over courts-martial procedures (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.4).

1950: The Uniform Code of Military Justice—A Military Rape Statute for Peacetime and War. Congress conducted an overhaul of the military judicial system by executing the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on May 5, 1950. Its purpose was to establish conformity across all military branches. Before 1950, the Army, Navy and Coast Guard were the only military justice systems in place, however, the Coast Guard had its own laws relating to disciplinary actions. The UCMJ had a substantial effect on the law of rape within the military justice system and for the first time in history, commanders had the authority charge military members who committed rape crimes regardless of where it occurred or whether in time of war or peace. The UCMJ was a system that was used in courts for all armed forces in addition to articles of punishment. Article 36 of the UCMJ delegated authority to the president to establish procedural rules in a separate Manual for Courts-martial (MCM). According to the first MCM, published in 1951, the purpose of the military justice system was “to promote justice, to assist commanders in maintaining good order and discipline in the armed forces, to promote efficiency and effectiveness within the military establishment, and thereby to strengthen the national security of the United States (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.4).”

The UCMJ attempted to restore the supreme role of the commander in maintaining good order and discipline within the force and ensuring those who serve have their rights to due process under the constitution. Although the Supreme Court recognized the military and civilian sector had different ways of discipline, there was a growing concern about the fairness of military courts, even with the improvements in protections for the accused intended under the UCMJ (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.4).

In 1969, the Supreme Court determined that courts-martial must be limited to “service connected offenses related to military discipline (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.4).”  For example, in the sexual assault case of O’Callahan v. Parker (1969), a sergeant broke into an employee’s hotel room and attempted to rape her and was turned over to the military where he was convicted by court-martial. The Supreme Court argued that his court-martial was not a jury composed of his peers with a unanimously vote but by military officers who had a two-thirds vote. For nearly two decades after the Supreme Court’s decision in this case, there were no court-martials for the crime of rape. However, the Supreme Court argued that in if crimes didn’t occur in the United States or military during the time of war, the Constitution would afford the accused the right to be indicted by a grand jury and trial by jury in civilian court. But, in 1987, the Supreme Court made a shift and reversed an earlier ruling in another sexual assault case, Solorio v. United States. In the Solorio v. United States case, a Guardsman sexually abused a co-workers two children and was convicted by court-martial. Solorio appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the actions in the O’Callahan case meant that the military had no authority over the alleged crimes. In response, the Supreme Court dismissed the “service-related” standard for ruling what criminal offenses could be tried by court-martial. Without the “service-related” requirement, all military members who committed rape and sexual assault offenses could be court-martialed (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.4).

Changes in Rape Law in the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1960’s through the 1970’s civilian rape laws went through drastic changes. During this time upcoming feminists demanded the protection of victim’s privacy rights. By the 1980s, all 50 states and the federal government passed and made changes to the rape law. These changes broke down the common law offense of rape into degrees of rape or sexual assault; the specific offense depended on level of blame of the accused. The reforms also established maximum punishments based on the circumstances present in any particular case. Many jurisdictions also removed the term “rape from their punitive codes and replaced it with sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.5).”

2006: Modernizing the Military Rape Statute. Although the military rape statue was rarely used between 1969 and 1987 in light of the service-related requirement, the military was slow at reforming rape laws. In 2007, there were two significant changes to Article 120. The first change was “removing the spousal exception to rape and the second was defining the offense in gender neutral terms so that either a male or female can perpetrate or be the victim of rape (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.5).”

As late as 2006, rape and carnal knowledge were two offenses that were prosecuted under Article 120. However, other types of sexual misconduct was prosecuted under the general article, Article 134 and Article 125 which prohibited sodomy. The Tailhook and Aberdeen Proving Ground were two military scandals that shook the public. In the case of Tailhook, eighty-three women and seven men were sexually abused by naval aviators during their annual association meeting.  This resulted in the retirement of two admirals and the resigning of the Secretary of the Navy with no court-martial convictions. In 1996, allegations involving drill instructors sexually abused trainees at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland rocked the Army. As a result of the scandal, Army Secretary Togo West ordered sexual harassment training for all soldiers (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.5). Following these sexual assault scandals, Congress took a big look at establishing several panels to review and address sexual assault within the military.

In 2003, Congress established a Panel to Review Sexual Misconduct Allegations at United States Air Force Academy. It was reported that for the past 10 years the higher levels of Air Force leadership were aware of the seriousness of sexual misconduct and the breakdown in the academy values at that led to the pervasiveness of sexual assaults. These findings led to Congress taking a larger look at the other United States military academies, and, in 2004, Congress directed the Secretary of Defense to establish a team of six members from the four branches of service and six civilians called the Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service.  The Service Academy Task Force was directed by Congress to evaluate and make proposals concerning how the Departments of the Army and the Navy could more effectively address sexual assaults and harassment at the academies. The task force found that although there were efforts put into place to hold perpetrators accountable, there was an obstacle with increasing the accountability for rape and sexual assaults because they did not reflect the nature of criminal sexual behaviors encountered at the military academies and in society. It was recommended that Congress address the full spectrum of sexual misconduct. In response, in 2004, the Secretary of Defense established panel called the Task Force on Care for Victims of Sexual Assault. Their responsibility was to investigate how the DoD dealt with sexual assault victims, this led to the first DoD policy regarding sexual assault. In April 2004, the Task Force reported 35 key findings and nine proposals. The most important proposal was for the Secretary of Defense to establish a single point of accountability within DoD for policy relating to sexual assault and to bring greater clarity to the UCMJ, improve the definitions of sexual assault, and resolve confusion over behaviors, legal definitions, and terms. Following these proposals, in 2004, Congress the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a provision which “directed the Secretary of Defense to develop a comprehensive policy for DoD on the prevention and response to sexual assaults involving members of the Armed Forces (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.5).” There are other reforms Congress should take a look at. The first one is the structural reform of Judge Advocate Genera’s (JAG) corps, military lawyers who are responsible for the prosecution and defense cases during court-martials. Structural improvements to the military justice system in the long-term would preserve the central role of the commander in the military justice process and would create a litigation career track for JAGs in each branch of service. By establishing career tracks for military prosecutors and defense counsel, JAG litigators would be better suited to providing better legal services to victims and defendants alike in the military and align themselves structurally with best practices in the civilian bar. Sexual assault victims are allowed to work with military prosecutors during the career litigation track Learned defense counsels would represent the defendants who have expertise in lower-level felonies, misdemeanor cases before moving forward with sexual assault cases (Stimson, 2017).

Congress also extended the responsibilities of the Military Service Academy Task Force beyond directed it to encompass all of the Armed Forces and to examine matters relating to sexual assault cases in which members of the Armed forces were either victims or perpetrators of sexual assault. The DoD was required by the NDAA to submit yearly reports of the number of sexual assaults reports committed by military members, the number of confirmed cases, a summary of disciplinary actions taken in each case, and the policies, procedures and processes that were implemented for sexual assault response in each fiscal year. Congress, in the NDAA, took the Service Academy Task Force proposals to evaluate sexual assault laws and required the Secretary of Defense to conduct a review of the UCMJ and MCM with what changes were needed to improve the military justice system’s ability to address the issues of sexual assault and to comply with federal laws on sexual assaults (Carson & Carson, 2017, p.5).

The Military Legal System Various laws and rules made convictions even more difficult. For example, military victims who were assaulted couldn’t sue, as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not apply to the armed forces. It has become difficult in identifying perpetrators, especially those who commit crimes more than once due to the military’s responsibilities to transfer members every 2–3 years. The “good soldier defense has been used as a method of exonerating perpetrators based on their military performance and merit (Castro et al., 2015, p. 7).” The lifestyles and prior behaviors of sexual assault victims were subject to questioning, often determined as evidence by the military justice. However, the most recent NDAA banned the use of the good soldier defense and established additional support mechanisms for victims but inconsistencies and ambiguities related to sexual assault investigations still remained. For example, the Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) 412, known as the rape shield rule, forbids the lifestyle and prior behavior of a sexual assault victim as evidence during a courts-martial, unless a military judge ruled it as admissible. (Castro et al., 2015, p. 7).   There were many sexual assault cases that occurred throughout the military, however, there were two notable cases, the Air Force Basic Training and the Air Force Academy sexual assault scandals.

The United States Air Force Basic Training scandal took place at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. In early 2009, during and after basic training, there were 43 female trainees who were sexual assaulted by their training instructors. Seventeen male instructors were accused offenses ranging from unprofessional relationships to rape. Thrity-five instructors were relieved of duty. However, the investigation didn’t began until 2011 when a trainee reported suspected sexual misconduct.

In January 2003, numerous female cadets at the United States Air Force Academy were sexually assaulted while attending the institution. It was further alleged that Air Force leaders covered up the crimes, did not punish perpetrators, and frequently retaliated against the female cadets by punishing them for reporting the sexual assault. The Secretary of the Air Force was mandated by two Senators to investigate the specific allegations of that matter.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Defense Authorization bill had been the focal point. On June 13, the Senate Armed Services Committee, by a vote of 17 to 9, approved an amendment that required the most senior ranking member in the chain of command review any decision not to prosecute a sexual assault case, and to make any retaliatory action against a victim of sexual abuse a crime. The amendment reversed the amendment by approving the removal of prosecuting the most felony-level crimes from the alleged perpetrator’s chain of command. A number of related amendments were adopted, one that would prohibit any information about the victim from being a part of clemency proceedings and another that would require mandatory dismissal or dishonorable discharge of those convicted of sexual assault. The House passed its Defense Authorization bill on June 14, by a vote of 315 to 108. Relating to sexual assault, outlined were mandatory two-year sentences for service members convicted by court-martial and removing the commanders authority to throw out sexual assault convictions. Military service members who were convicted would be dismissed or receive a dishonorably discharged (Legislative Background on Sexual Assault in the Military, 2013).

The FY 2014 Defense Appropriations bill was passed by the House with a 315 to 109 vote. The bill included amendments to increase funding for training of investigators to review sexual assaults and to provide funds to correct the records of military members who was discharged for reporting sexual assaults. The Appropriations Committee approved the Senate’s version of the bill which included funding of $25 million to create special victims’ counsel programs and to provide legal assistance support across all military branches (Legislative Background on Sexual Assault in the Military, 2013).

Emphasis on training and establishing resilience programs should be considered in order to combat sexual assault. New policies, proceeded by mandatory training is the military’s solution to combat social problems, without really ever assessing the effectiveness of either. In the case of sexual assaults, the military’s response follows the same outline. With few exceptions, service members receive the same sexual assault prevention training regardless of age, gender, or position. A health risk reduction strategy towards preventing sexual assault is noticeably absent. Indeed, a crime reduction strategy is not employed either, although over the past 10 years, the military’s sexual assault prevention training has tended to focus on sexual assault as a crime. Instead, most current sexual assault prevention training emphasizes the legal definition of sexual assault and how to report it. The root causes and military cultural aspects of sexual assault are absent and not being addressed. Military members have recently stated the annual sexual assault trainings does not contain any new information in, and they have desensitized the topic information and trainings. (Castro et al., 2015, p. 6).

Resiliency programs have been imbedded in all military services. The programs focus on training members on how to react and cope in demanding and stressful environments so they can still perform and carry out the military mission (Castro et al., 2015, p. 6). Sexual assault it is a widespread problem within the military and civilian communities that not only affects the victim but the perpetrators, the families and the communities located around them. These factors describe why sexual assault is an important social issue.

There are prevalence and trends in the military. Over the past decade, there have been an increase in reporting sexual assaults as a result of the advancement of education and prevention programs. One reason is due to the policy change that occurred in 2005 that allowed victims to restricted reporting. In 2014, there were “4,760 sexual assault reports that produced about 6,100 total reports. Out of the total reports, about 1,470 reports remained restricted (Rough & Armor, 2017).”

For example, based on the 2012 survey, “approximately 14,000 active duty men and 12,000 active duty women reported one or more sexual assaults via the surveys, as compared to about 300 men and 2,600 women who reported these incidents officially. Thus only about 2 percent of active duty men and 20 percent of women who experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012 actually reported the incident to the appropriate authorities. That coverage rate is increasing, however, especially for women. In 2014, the 4,760 official reports of sexual assault breaks down into 1,080 men and 3,690 women, compared to self-reported incidents for 10,400 men and 8,500 women. This yields a coverage of 43 percent for women and 10 percent for men, which is much improved from 2012 (Rough & Armor, 2017).”

There are many barriers that complicate the reporting of sexual assaults within the military. A military member can file a restricted report which is confidential and enables medical care and support services without involving the chain of command or law enforcement or they can file an unrestricted report which involves their chain of command and law enforcement to begin an investigation. However, if the military member tells another military member who then discusses the assault with the chain of command or if the military member tells any person in the chain of command about the event, then confidentially is thrown out and an investigation is initiated. When a restricted report of sexual assault is filed with the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), other agencies will be informed, including legal, medical personnel, and the chaplain. Furthermore, senior leadership of the installation is notified when a restricted report is filed, but the identity of the military member is withheld. Many military members stated that although report is filed, the likelihood of others finding out jeopardizes confidentiality, resulting in the belief that a restricted report will not remain confidential (Castro et al., 2015, p. 6).

a. Comparing Military and Civilian Prevalence

The DoD have assessed sexual assaults that have occurred at military academies. A survey that was conducted estimated sexual assault rates for women at the military academies were higher than military active duty women, ranging from 9 percent to nearly 13 percent. For example, the 2014 sexual assault rate for women in ranks E1–E4, the youngest ranks than the rest of the active duty force was 7.3 percent. They found that 37 percent of female assault victims had their first rape experience at ages 18–24, compared to 20 percent for older women and 42 percent for women under 18 (Rough & Armor, 2017).

The rates of sexual assault at the academies can be compared with the rates at civilian 4-year colleges. The American Association of Universities (AAU) study found a “sexual assault rate of about 13 percent for women and 3 percent for men. The rate for women at these civilian colleges is somewhat higher than the 2014 academy rate but quite comparable to the academy rates in 2010 and 2012. The rate for men appears to be higher at universities than the academies (Rough & Armor, 2017).”

There are a variety of limitations that exist in assessing, preventing and responding to sexual assaults in both the military and civilian sector. Aligning the 2014 Research and Development (RAND) with the UCMJ definition of sexual assault and establishing a baseline for future studies. Ensuring the civilian sector definition of sexual assault is similar with the military’s would enhance the ability of researchers to compare trends across the military and civilian sector. Finally, prevention and response efforts regarding the perspectives of military sexual assault survivors should be in-depth while should be enhance in-depth regarding the focusing on reporting, leadership response and retaliation barriers (Rough & Armor, 2017).

The military must continue to build policies and create structure that would enable a cultural shift as it relates to sexual assault. It must continue to fully expose the problem and provide victims with safe reporting tools and support services and hold perpetrators accountable. They must continue to provide prevention and response training to everyone and communicate that there will be zero tolerance with sexual assault (https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm). Most importantly, the military must build a strong relationship to collaborate with the local, state and national communities regarding sexual assault. These are social changes that I think should continue to occur in addressing and combating sexual assault in the military. Military members and those who are defending victims are sexual assault must be educated on sexual assault prevention and response, while understanding the prosecution role. It is important to know Confidentiality with Victim Advocates – Military Rule of Evidence (MRE) 514, Air Force Senior Trial Counsel – Your Special Victims Unit and  Air Force Senior Defense Counsel – Defending Those That Defend America. Under the MRE 514, a victim do not have to communicate with a victim advocate (VA) when the conversations  are made for the purpose of facilitating advice or supportive assistance, and they are not intended to be disclosed to a third party.  A VA, including the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), do not have to disclose conversations on behalf of the victim and statements between a victim and VA are given similar protection as statements between a patient and a mental health professional. The Air Force Senior Trial Counsel specializes in prosecution of sexual assault cases; prosecute child sex abuse, shaken baby cases, and homicides. The counsel is present through the entire process, from the investigation, the charging decision, and trial and sentencing. They all offenses under UCMJ, to include espionage, homicides, cybercrimes, aggravated assaults, fraud, and drug offenses and they help to ensure that the courts receive admissible evidence and the evidence forms the basis for the decision on guilt or innocence and engaged with other branches of services.  (The Judge Advocate General’s Corps > About Us > Sexual Assault Prosecutions, n.d.). The There are many theories that support the behavior and thinking of sexual assault perpetrators.

Personality theories can explain the behavior of a sexual perpetrators. Personality theorists suggested that how a child perceives sex and their role in sexual relationships are a result of the trauma and mistreatment they experienced during their early childhood. Negative attitudes and beliefs about themselves and relationships begin to manifest due to the mentioned perceptions. There is one personality theory that can explain the relationship between a child, the sole caretaker and their relationship and the adjustments made later in life, it’s called the attachment theory.  According to the attachment theory, the establishment of strong emotional bonds with others are vital and when there is no emotionally bond, they feel lonely and isolated leading them to act out. Research concluded that “there is a relationship between poor quality attachments and sexual offending and found that men who sexually abuse children often have not developed the social skills and self-confidence necessary to form effective intimate relations with peers. This failure creates frustration that causes them to seek intimacy with young partners (Faupel, n.d).” Personality theories are successful in that they demonstrating that sexual perpetratorshave poor social skills and problems with intimacy, and that there is a connection between poor relationships with others (particularly caregivers) and sexual offending behavior (Faupel, n.d).

The theory that the thoughts of a sexual perpetrator can affect their behavior can be addressed by cognitive theorists. It is said that when people commit deviant sexual acts, they often try to make excuses, justifications and rationalizations for their behavior. These “excuses, justifications, and rationalizations are commonly referred to as cognitive distortions or thinking errors (Faupel, n.d).” Thus allowing sexual perpetrators the ability to not take responsibility for their actions to include removing the shame and guilt. These errors includes claiming the right or entitlement to the behavior, downplaying the committed harm, and victim blaming. This theory suggests that many sexual perpetrators display bitterness and use it to justify their behaviors and are more likely to defend themselves by disregarding the truth due to low poor relationships, self-esteem, and emotional discomfort or anxiety. However, sexual perpetrators ignore their situation in order to fufill their self-worthwhen they are challenged about their behavior. (Faupel, n.d).

Further, sexual perpetrators who are only concerned with themselves and their own interests will justify their deviant actions to satisfy their needs. This behavior causes the perpetrator to believe that the victim deserved to be violated and have mixed perspectives as to what the victim needed from them.  They may continue to blame others or do not take responsibility for their own actions. Finally, how and why a sexual perpetrators manipulate information both internally and externally can be explained. Research suggests that “sexual perpetrators misinterpret social cues and have difficulty recognizing and interpreting the emotional state of others. Further, they do not make good choices based on the information they perceive and do not consider the perceptions of others in making decisions about their own behavior (Faupel, n.d).”

There have been two primary social learning hypothesis that have  explained reasons for sexual offending behaviors The first is that abusive adults were sexually abused as children and the second is that sexual perpetrators behavior is related to pornography (Faupel, n.d).

Research has examined how becoming a victim affects future victimizing behavior. However, early childhood victimization does not always result in sexually aggressive behavior. Although sexual perpetrators have a history of higher sexual abuse behavior, the majority of perpetrators are not abused when they were younger. The evidence that support this claim includes, the exceesive amount of women who were victims as children do not sexually abuse others. Even so, a large percentage of sex offenders do report being sexually abused as children. A history of higher rates of child abuse can be seen in perpetrators who sexually offend young boys. Majority of the victims that become perpetrators are male. Therefore, in this regard, researchers have focused on male victims, the way they internalize their abuse, and how it impacts their adulthood. (Faupel, n.d).

Researchers used the social learning theory to identify the learning process and the important changes that help in determining if sexual will occur. For example, a child who has attribute victimization as normal or pleasurable in some way is more likely to offend. Different thought patterns may be a result of the victim’s abusive behaviors. For example, if someone who’s abusive and appears to love the victim, inturn the victim will think it’s normal, it’s a good thing and may even enjoy the abuse.. A child who exhibits this type of thought processes relating to their own abuse is more likely to grow into adulthood viewing sexually abusive acts are less harmful and more pleasurable (Faupel, n.d).

There are factors that play a role in the in the relationship between being sexually abused and displaying sexually abusive behaviors later in adulthood. These factors include the age of the victim, the victim and perpetrators’ realationship, the amount of force, sex act type and amount of force used, the gender of the perpetrator, the extent of the abuse, and how many perpetrators there are. The “younger the victim, the more violent and intrusive the sexual acts, the longer the duration of abuse, and the greater the number of perpetrators, the more likely it is that sexually deviant behavior will develop in victims (Faupel, n.d).”

Another factor that has been linked to the social learning process of victimization is how others respond to the victim disclosing information. A victim may incorporate negative sexual behaviors and develop abusive behaviors if they feel that other’s response is not genuine. It has been suggested that sexual abuse experienced by children have some effect on the development of sexually abusive behavior patterns. (Faupel, n.d).

Pornography is another social learning theory related to sexual offending behavior. For some individuals it example for sexually aggressive behavior which encourages them to emulate the behaviors portrayed in pornography. The literature defines sexually violent pornography as “pornography in which women are portrayed in humiliating or degrading situations or are the victims of forced or coerced sexual interactions (Faupel, n.d).” Based on this theory, individuals change their attitudes towards women and internal myths about rape due to sexually violent pornography. Rape myths are defined as “prejudicial, stereotyped, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapists (Faupel, n.d).”

Evidence have shown that continuous exposure to sexually aggressive pornography contributes to men being extremely hostile toward women, acceptance about the untruths of rape, a lack of empathy and compassion for victims, and an extremely acceptance of physical abuse toward women. From a social learning perspective, abusive behavior is a result of the type of reinforcement in the learning process.One type of reinforcement is pornography and the illusion that women desire and enjoy sexual activities and degradation. Another reinforcement comes from the social cues of others including both the individuals in the pornography and viewers. If the individuals in the pornographic material seem to be enjoying it and watching it and if the reactions of others give the impression that it is socially accepted, the viewer will most likely see the sexually aggressive content as positive and desirable to follow. Feminists have argued that there are no differences between male sexual perpetrators and normal men except their behavior is accepted, condoned and tolerated (Faupel, n.d).

Some men relieve a sense of powerlessness and create their own idea of masculinity through child sexual abuse. According to feminist theorists, masculinity is a learned behavior and in order for a man to encounter power, in order to prove his masculinity, he must engage in sexual violence. Feminist theorists suggests that there are different concepts of masculinity with varying degrees of social acceptance and power (Faupel, n.d).

My topic relates to the course and readings because it address the nature of victimization and crime and how gender play a role in it. My topic also relates to the course and readings on how policies and structures are created within the entities that have the reigning power to create them. It discusses how the rank structure impacts the outcome of a decision and how power play an important role in making those decisions.

The military structure can be characterized as a patriarchal structure that is govern by values such as formality, leadership, loyalty, rank, emotional control, and camaraderie. Masculine ideals, encouraging notions of dominance, aggression, self-sufficiency, and risk-taking are highly valued. The military has a history of male-only peer group bonding that foster hyper-masculinity, which views masculine interactions in terms of dominance, control and competition, dominance. Men and women both hold a position of power in the military. These differences are due to the male-dominated leadership and structure which plays an important role in sexual misconduct. Acceptance and perpetration of sexual harassment and assault have connected to the traditional and hyper-masculine beliefs and negative attitudes towards women. The military’s homophobic culture could be seen as a factor that increased the risk of sexual assaults. The power and control of leadership discouraged victims, specifically male victims from reporting due to the fear of the stigma of being labeled or identified as homosexual. Hyper-masculine men felt vulnerable by competent women, being considered weak or effeminate, resulting in the need to continuously prove their masculinity through the use of sexual behavior and language. Military women reported feelings of being examined and watched closely by men, judged as being incompetent, and exposed to jealousy and anger. The “use of sexualized and gendered language within the military including calling recruits’ girls or faggots as a form of motivation and various types of military slang contributes to further psychological distance and objectification (Castro et al., 2015, p. 2).” Although military sexual assaults and sexual harassment most likely will occurs against women than their male counterparts, the actual number of males sexually assaulted is similar to that of females because the ratio of more men to women in the military. Reporting male sexual assaults and seeking health care is challenging due to the stigmatism (Castro et al., 2015, p. 2).

Outside of the workplace, women were more likely than men to be sexual assaulted. About 35 percent of women were out with friends or partying at the time of the incident, nearly 70 percent of women described the offender as a friend or someone they knew. About 40 percent of women stated that alcohol had been consumed at the time of the incident. On the other hand, men were more likely than women to have been assaulted by multiple perpetrators and repeatedly. Men sexual assaults were more than likely to occur on duty and considered as intentionally abusive or hazing. Hazing sexual assault incidents were equally likely to involve penetration as to not, with about 70 percent of male victims reported sodomy used with physical force and resulting in injury during the incident (Rough & Armor, 2017).

Reporting rates also vary by gender. The RAND report found that 22 percent of women say they filed an official report, but this implies only about 2,150 official cases for women while the DoD tracked nearly 3,700 official reports for women. There are reasons for those who didn’t report the incident include: they 24 percent didn’t think it wasn’t serious or blamed themselves, 17 percent wanted to forget about it and move forward, 15 percent worried about retaliation or effects on their career, 14 percent were concerned about negative perceptions, 13 percent took care of it in some other way, 10 percent were concerned about the process of reporting, and 6 percent felt it would damage the perpetrator’s career or family. Female victims of sexual assaults are more likely to report than male victims. Twenty-eight percent of males are less likely to report a sexual assault because they fear the perception of being called gay or bisexuals by those who are learn about the behavior (Rough & Armor, 2017).

Looking at the type of assault, “53 percent of women reported sexual touching only, 4 percent reported attempted rape, and 43 percent reported completed rape. Enlisted women with ranks E1–E4 have more than double the rates of sexual assault than higher ranked enlisted women (E5–E9), about 7 versus 3 percent (Rough & Armor, 2017).” Women officers experience lower rates of assault overall, but there is a similar differential by rank. Junior officers with ranks O1–O3 have a rate of “3.6 percent compared to 1.3 percent for officers ranks O4–O6 (Rough & Armor, 2017).” Within the junior enlisted and officer corps, junior enlisted men experience higher rates of sexual assault than senior enlisted, however, rates are comparable with junior and senior male officers. (Rough & Armor, 2017).

Sexual assault rates against women between the branches of service varied as well. The Marine Corps holds the highest rate at “8 percent, the Navy with 6.5 percent, the Army at 4.7 percent, and the Air Force has the lowest rate at 3 percent. Two-thirds of respondents reported that sexual assaults occurred on a military installation to include ships and about half occurred during duty hours. Nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated the offender was of higher rank, which may not be surprising given the higher likelihood of junior men and women (E1–E4) to be assaulted. One-third stated the offender was someone in their chain of command (Rough & Armor, 2017).”

Sexual assault is a persistent problem within the military community. It not only impacts the victim, but those around them. Despite the many different sexual assault scandals, there have been drastic changes that has driven the implementation of different polices and laws. These laws were created to not only provide a guideline and foundation to the prosecution and sentencing of those perpetrators, but they have been designed to protect the rights of victims. These laws and policies that have been established not only protect the rights of the victims, but give them different reporting options without retaliation. Nonetheless, it gives the military the authority and control over sexual assault perpetrators and to enforce good order and discipline in order for our military members to uphold and carry out the missions that are put before them.















Annotated Bibliography

Carson, J. K., & Carson, B. R. (2017). The historical roots and future directions for military law and policies on rape and sexual assault. Military Psychology, doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy1.apus.edu/10.1037/mil0000180

In this source Carson & Carson are both highlighting the historical roots of how sexual assaults laws were established to deal with sexual assault and the future directions for the military in regards to passing laws and policies on rape and sexual assault.  In contrast with Legislative Background on Sexual Assault in the Military it also addresses the laws and policies in an historical fashion, but does not discuss the bills that were passed. This source relates to my topic of sexual assault as it discusses some of the bills that were passed relating to sexual assault. The authors finding found that several major reforms are still waiting, including improved collection of sexual assault data and program performance metrics and a more specific definition in Department of Defense policy of what conduct compromises sexual assault.

Castro, C. A., Kintzle, S., Schuyler, A. C., Lucas, C. L., & Warner, C. H. (2015). Sexual assault in the military. Current Psychiatry Reports, 17(7), 54. doi:10.1007/s11920-015-0596-7

In this source the root causes and the myths associated with and surrounding sexual assaults, the military cultural factors that could have possibly contributed to sexual assault and the difficult problems that occur with the result of sexual assault are being addressed. For example one issue that may be a myth to many is the the widespread of men sexual assaults in the military. Provide a comparison and contrast with other sources in your annotated bibliography In comparison with the other sources found, this article addresses the myths pertaining to sexual assault as the other sources do not. However as most of the sources discusses the problems surrounding sexual assault and why it’s a big problem does this source. This source relates to my overall research because it demonstrates the debates and controversies pertaining to sexual assault in the military The author research findings concluded that by presenting an extensive, but complete set of recommendations that take in to account all these factors for establishing effective strategies and programs that would end sexual assault within the military.

Faupel, S. Chapter 2: Etiology of Adult Sexual Offending | Sex Offender Management Assessment and Planning Initiative. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.smart.gov/SOMAPI/sec1/ch2_etiology.html

This article states the in order to develop prevention strategies that are effective there must be fact based knowledge about the root causes of the sexual perpetrator and victim. There also must be knowledge about the root cause in order to help professionals effectively manage and mitigate risks and develop treatment interventions. The knowledge that is gained about the root causes and the paths perpetrators take to offend can provide vital insight on the characteristics of behaviors of sex offending including the preference of their victims and how much those behaviors will continue persist over time. Lastly relating information can develop communication and decision making at the policy levels. Therefore, identifying theories relating to sexual offending behavior is critical.

Facts About Sexual Harassment. (n.d). Retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm

In this article it provide the definition of Sexual Assault, the variety of ways sexual harassment can occur, provide helpful information on what the victim should do, what the Equal Employer Opportunity Commission (EEOC) considers when conducting a sexual harassment allegation and what an employer can do to prevent sexual assault in the workplace. In this article it also explains the law that govern sexual harassment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and who it applies to.

Legislative Background on Sexual Assault in the Military. (2013). Congressional Digest, 92(8), 8.

 The Pentagon announced a push that targeted suppressing sexual assaults. It included the development of programs in each branch of service. The goal of these programs would be to advocate on the victims behalf by providing legal representation and doing so through the judicial process. This source relates to my topic of sexual assault as it discusses some of the bills that were passed relating to sexual assault. The author’s main research findings were to identify the bills that were passed as a result from two hearings held by Congress. These hearings focused on sexual assault and were presented the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The two hearings included testaments from veterans who were sexual assault victims and the groups that defended victims’ rights by challenging senior military leaders.

Rough, J. A. and Armor, D. J. (2017), Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military: Trends and Responses. World Medical & Health Policy, 9: 206–224. doi:10.1002/wmh3.228

The trends and the predominance of sexual assault that occurs in the U.S. military is being evaluated, fact-finding if sexual assault is an increasing. Second, the rates of sexual assaults in the military compared to the civilian rates, sexual assault rates in the academies compared civilian college life is being addressed and finally discussing the and examining what the military has done to combat the issue of sexual assault and how those actions might improve prevention and response programs. In contrast, the other sources in the annotated bibliography does not mention any trends and responses as it relates to sexual assault, it does not compare the rate at which sexual assault occurs in the civilian sector with the military, it does not compare sexual assault in the military academies to civilian colleges. However, it does examine prevention and response and how to improve those efforts. This source relates to my overall research in that it is important to understand why sexual assault is a problem and to provide analysis. It also relates to the overall research in that it highlights that sexual assault do occur in the military addresses what steps have been done to tackle the issue and provide prevention and response programs to improve efforts.

The author’s found that in 2005, Department of Defense (DOD) attempted to create a variety of initiatives to combat sexual assault by establishing a new office to coordinate and initiate policies as well as conduct comprehensive and recurring surveys to annotate prevalence and progress. The author also noted that several abuse scandals and controversial decisions promoted a lot of negative press coverage and raised questions about the progress the DOD made over the last 8 years.   A great deal of negative press over several sexual abuse scandals and controversial decisions raises questions about just how much progress DoD has made in the past 8 years. With the release of the 2014 survey, it becomes possible to assess longer-term trends in sexual assault prevalence and related responses. The weakness of this source is there is no precise solution as to rather sexual assault is increasing, decreasing or remaining stable, therefore, making it extremely difficult when comparing the predominant rates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey to the predominant rates in the DoD survey.

Sexual Assault in the Military. (2013). Sexual Misconduct and the Culture of the U.S. Armed Forces. Congressional Digest, 92(8), 1.

This source addresses the problem of sexual assault and the need to reform policies that would increase victim reporting and provide counseling services to those victims. With comparison and contrast to the source Legislative Background on Sexual Assault in the Military, this source addresses the problems of sexual assault and explains that the polices that should also be reformed. However unlike the source Legislative Background on Sexual Assault in the military it does not address or identify the bills that were passed to support such reform. This source relates to my topic of sexual assault because it identifies the problems that occur in the military from sexual assault, it addresses how leaders responded to those cases and how the policies were ineffective in addressing the needs of those victims who were sexually assaulted. In this source, the author’s main research findings found that senior military officials have acknowledged that they failed to protect those service members from sexual assault and assured that it would put into place changes that would restore the trust of the armed forces.

Sexual assault reports in U.S. military reach record high, Pentagon says. (2017, May 2). Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sexual-assault-reports-u-s-military-reach-record-high-pentagon-n753566

In this article it discusses the sexual assault reports in the U. S military. It compared reported cases from this year, 2017 to cases in 2016 while signifying a jump of reported cases in 2012. This article also highlighted the anonymous survey that reported some type of sexual assault extending from groping to rape.

Stimson, C. (2017). Sexual Assault in the Military: Understanding the Problem and How to Fix It. [online] The Heritage Foundation. Available at: http://www.heritage.org/defense/report/sexual-assault-the-military-understanding-the-problem-and-how-fix-it.

In this article it explains the breath of tools that commanding officers in the military have at their dispersal to enforce good order and discipline. It also describes what can happen if those powers are removed from them and addressing what powers they have under the current system. It has identified what Congress roles are with establishing military justice rules and procedures over the past 50 years.  It also provide recommendations for Congress. This article also describes what policies will work over a long period of time. It also list recommendations for litigation training and best practices in the military within the Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Air Force, the effects of the Congressional Reform 120 and the three cases that were heard in the military’s highest court which challenged many different aspects. It also addresses the current reform proposals. In contrast with other sources listed this source also identifies reforms that should be improved as it relates to sexual assault in the military. It identifies how circumventing the convening authorities put the victims at risk, senate and house proposals and the benefits of tracking career litigations. Finally it identifies the steps Congress should take to improve the military judicial system.

The Judge Advocate General’s Corps > About Us > Sexual Assault Prosecutions. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.afjag.af.mil/About-Us/Sexual-Assault-Prosecutions/

This article only list the prosecution information  that includes Confidentiality with Victim Advocates – Military Rule of Evidence 514, Air Force Senior Trial Counsel – Your Special Victims Unit and  Air Force Senior Defense Counsel – Defending Those That Defend America. It also list commentaries


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