Sexual assault in the military

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Jul;17(7):54. doi: 10.1007/s11920-015-0596-7.


Military sexual assault is a pervasive problem throughout the military services, despite numerous initiatives to end it. No doubt the military's lack of progress stems from the complexity of sexual assaults, yet in order to develop effective strategies and programs to end sexual assault, deep understanding and appreciation of these complexities are needed. In this paper, we describe the root causes and numerous myths surrounding sexual assault, the military cultural factors that may unintentionally contribute to sexual assault, and the uncomfortable issues surrounding sexual assault that are often ignored (such as the prevalence of male sexual assault within the military). We conclude by offering a broad, yet comprehensive set of recommendations that considers all of these factors for developing effective strategies and programs for ending sexual assault within in the military.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel* / psychology
  • Military Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Prevalence
  • Rape* / prevention & control
  • Rape* / psychology
  • Rape* / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexism*
  • Sexual Harassment* / prevention & control
  • Sexual Harassment* / psychology
  • Sexual Harassment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Stereotyping
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult