Part of the reason for this is that women are still a small minority in the military, representing only about 15 percent of service members. But what this astonishing number demonstrates is the truth of what feminists have been saying about sexual assault all along: It is not caused by an overabundance of sexual desire, but is an act of violence perpetrated by people who want to hurt and humiliate the victim, using sex as a weapon. … [L]est you think this male-on-male crime is the result of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Dao shows otherwise. As one male victim told Dao, “The people who perpetrated these crimes on me identify as heterosexual males,” which is frequently true of male-on-male rape.
Robert Knowles and Rachel Vanlandingham believe the military instituting affirmative action for women would help fix the problem:
Until women occupy the highest ranks in sufficient numbers, the sexual assault epidemic will likely persist. Studies show that institutions with a critical mass of women in leadership roles have far fewer instances of sexual harassment. When recruitment, promotion, and retention strategies lead to greater gender equality in the upper ranks, it will, in General Dempsey’s words, cause people to “treat each other equally.” In fact, such changes can have a far greater impact than in the civilian sector. The military’s culture, for all its flaws, prizes discipline and cohesiveness, which gives the armed services the unique ability to change quickly when they decide to do so.
Now that the Pentagon has lifted its ban on women in combat positions, extensive gender-based affirmative action should follow. As combat positions are the top springboard for advancement, more women must fill these positions now and female officers must be promoted at a much greater rate. This does not mean imposing fixed quotas or disregarding standards and merit. But integration goals should be especially aggressive for these positions, and commanders should consider the previous exclusion of women when assigning and promoting candidates.