The Stats On Rape In The Military You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else
America wants the truth. America can certainly handle the truth, uncomfortable though it may be. But the Women’s Rights Auxiliary Wing of the Department of Defense does not want America to know the truth behind their calculation of rape in the military, or the uglier truth it hides.
Here are the facts: according to the 2012 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, 26,000 service members experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact. Assuming this is only for active-duty military members, this is a rate of just under two percent. Considering the overall rate of sexual assault in America is about 0.06 percent, the numbers sound pretty astronomical on the surface. About 14 percent of military members are female, but 88 percent of sexual assaults officially reported are filed by women.
These numbers look dreadful – but there’s much more to the story. Let’s start with that number from the Report that 26,000 service members who experience unwanted sexual contact. This number, as one can see in a Fox News story, is often being interpreted by the media as “unreported sexual assault.” However, it includes everything from penetrating rape all the way down to groping.
According to a Wall Street Journal article by Marine Captain Lindsay L. Rodman, the methods for gathering and extrapolating the information were flawed as well, entailing random surveys sent out to a few military members, only 20 percent of whom bothered to respond. (She also suggests that the “random” surveys may have gone to many more women than men.) The real reported rape figures in the military are around 0.2 percent, still about triple the rate of civilian rape but much, much lower than the media is suggesting.
Even if the media were reporting this story accurately, however, they’d be reporting the wrong story. In civilian life, male-on-male rape is estimated by Silent No More to be about 10 percent of rape in America. However, numbers from the Report indicate that male-on-male unwanted sexual contact is much more prevalent in the military, perhaps as high as 55-60 percent of the total. (Keep in mind, though, that only 12 percent of official sexual assaults filed have male victims.)
This, when compared to civilian numbers, is the real epidemic. It means male-on-male sexual assault is as much as ten times as high in the military as it is in civilian life. Accurate numbers do not exist, since the masculine culture in the military discourages male reporting of rape even more than it discourages female reporting, but the reported numbers indicate male-on-male rape is more likely underestimated than overestimated.
And the liberal media wondered why enlisted military members were uncomfortable with the idea of open homosexuality in the military!
There are other problems with the numbers reported by the DOD. For example, reported percentages of pregnancy due to rape are higher in military members than in civilian members. This is likely not because military members have less consensual sex, but rather because such rapes are more likely to be falsely reported; there are rules against sexual contact of any sort when deployed or when sexual partners are of different ranks, and the potential for punishment may encourage false accusations. The risk of false accusations has become so high that some male military members have privately taken steps to ensure they are never alone with a female, or covertly record any private contact they must have.
The President has identified sexual assault as a problem that interferes with our military readiness. Like the proverbial broken clock, he is assuredly right in this assertion. But is the Pentagon asking the right questions and providing the right answers to address our military’s sex problems? And should they be treating this as a violence on women problem when all indications are that men suffer from sex assault just as often or more often than military women?
The right questions are likely not politically correct or politically safe. It is a shame our military leaders do not seem to be courageous enough to ask them.by