A reader writes:
It would be nice if what your reader said was true: that the nearly 40 percent increase in rape occurred because victims now feel more comfortable reporting it. (I said “victims” and not “women” because more than half of rapes in the military are done to men.) The nearly 40 percent jump was for cases of sexual assault reported in an anonymous survey. The number of reported rapes has stayed about the same. This shows the opposite of what the reader said – that no progress is being made in making victims feel that reporting their rape will lead to anything positive.
The most surprising thing about the public discussion of military sexual assault is that no one has said “duh.” Think about it – the military:
Is composed largely of men in their sexual prime;
who are in peak physical condition;
who are trained to be aggressive and violent;
who are deprived of the opportunity for normal sexual relationships for months at a time;
who are subjected to enormous stress and fear of death.
Take a lot of guys in their horniest ages, whip their bodies into prime shape, teach them aggression and violence, show them they might not live much longer, and deprive them of most opportunities for sex. What the hell do we think is going to happen?
This is not to excuse sexual assault at all. It is, rather, to indict the military establishment’s unpreparedness or unwillingness to deal with it. They should have seen it coming a mile away.