The crisis of sex assault in the United States military extends far beyond attacks on female soldiers by men. About half of all military sex assault victims are men, and in fact, men are raped in the military at a shocking rate of 38 every day, the Pentagon reveals in a major investigative article by GQ Magazine.
Women are statistically much more likely than their male counterparts to become victims of sexual assault in the military, but there are many fewer women in the armed forces than men. In terms of sheer numbers, more men are sexually assaulted than women.
In the vast majority of cases, the victims do not speak out and the rapists remain free and unpunished. An estimated 81 percent of male military sex assault victims do not report the crime committed against them and only 7 percent of cases against the alleged rapists end with convictions.
“While some victims are threatened with death or further violence if they speak out, others are simply intimidated by the military culture. One soldier quoted by GQ said that when he visited a doctor after being assaulted, the doctor told him, ‘Son, men don’t get raped.'”
“The moment a man enlists in the United States armed forces, his chances of being sexually assaulted increase by a factor of 10,” the GQ article reports. “Military culture is built upon a tenuous balance of aggression and obedience. The potential for sexual violence exists whenever there is too much of either. New recruits, stripped of their free will, cannot question authority. A certain kind of officer demands sex from underlings in the same way he demands they pick up his laundry. A certain kind of recruit rapes his peer in a sick mimicry of the power structure: ‘I own you totally.'”
The sickening crisis cannot be blamed on the presence of gays in the military, says James Asbrand, a psychologist who counsels veterans.
“One of the myths is that the perpetrators identify as gay, which is by and large not the case,” Asbrand told GQ. “It’s not about the sex. It’s about power and control.” Asbrand attributes the epidemic of military sex assault against men by other men to the “hypermasculine culture” that exists in the military. “What’s the worst thing you can do to another man?” Asbrand asks. “Force him into what the culture perceives as a feminine role.”
The practice of psychology has even coined a term for the often severe mental symptoms suffered by victims of military sex assault — Military Sexual Trauma, or MST.
But many servicemen who show symptoms of MST are given diagnoses of some other sort of personality disorder, which not only covers up the truth of military sex assault, but saves the government money when it comes to treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in military vets.