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Men Sexually Assaulted in the Military
The topic I want to learn more about and let others understand is that men do go through multiple kinds of violence in the military, more specifically the sexual assault that men go through but almost no one knows that it is happening to them. I feel this an important topic for those to understand that men in the military are as likely to get sexually assaulted as much as women do in the military. Sexual violence towards men within the military is not really acknowledged by military officials, policymakers, health care professionals or the media because they believe that it cannot happen to men. What they do not know is that the sexual violence in the military is high and since they do not recognize the sexual violence in the military. Lastly, since these men are in the military the sexual assault towards them is considered a myth and the way the military is considered the military personnel does not see that they are purposely contributing to sexual assault towards men. I feel that everyone’s safety is very important and we do not always pay attention to men who are getting sexually assaulted and are in the military, but I believe that everyone should have the interest to support those men who were victims of rape. In society, men being sexually assaulted in the military is not considered a problem because it is believed that is how the military is structured, but that is not the case and following research has shown that the sexual safety of men in the military should be considered.
In the military women tend to receive a little more special care of how they feel, because some see women as weaker than men, but most importantly their safety of not being sexually assaulted and sexually harassed, but everyone forgets about men who are also in the military and can experience the same mistreatment as women do in the military. There has recently been group therapy for men who were raped; they were crying for help and no one was listening to their pled for help. It is sad that they have barely made a group for men who experienced such a horrible thing, and I believe the reason of why it took so long to make such a group is because society has always seen men to be strong and they are always the abusers, and not the abused, but it can happen to anyone. Dieperink, Leskela, and Kok (2001) stated that men shared the same responses as women did about getting raped, but men had more of a concern about their gender identity since their sexual assault made them question themselves and whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. While the men were in the group session, the men were questioning whether it was a safe place to express themselves and tell their stories. None of the men in the group reported their rape because it seemed like they did not want to make the military look bad. I think that men in the military believe that they must have an ego and must have respect when talking about anything related to the military. I believe that they fear that if they say anything bad about the military they will not have anywhere to go after their service is over, or they will be mistreated more than what they are already experiencing.
Society does not really recognize any kind of sexual assault for men in the military, but the main groups that have a connection to the military and do not recognize any of these actions are the military officials, policy-makers, and health care professionals. I would think that military officials would have some concern for their men in the service because they should be able to feel safe since they are going to fight for their country to keep us safe. I think when someone joins the armed services they would be safe with each other and have the respect for each other as a family would have, since the military is like a second family for those that are serving. Policy makers tend to only look out for those that are weak to protect themselves and in this case those are the women. They have the thought that sexual assault cannot happen to men because they are men and strong and nothing can happen to them, rather they are the ones that cause all the bad things to women. The next person the male should go up to would be military personnel should be able to have trust to speak about things that may make them uncomfortable would be health care professionals, because they are the ones that can see something wrong that can be harming the solider and they should be reporting it to put them in safety and help them with processes of coping their experiences. Frayne, Gima, Smith, Street and Kimerling (2007) have stated that men do try to reach for help and discuss about the sexual assault they went through but usually fail and are more likely to reach out for alcohol and tobacco since it is masculine and a legal drug. Males are positive in the screening for sexual trauma but have a lower percentage. Women have a higher percentage by one percent. I believe the reason men are not successful in reaching for help is that they are afraid on what society will say about them and they feel that the easiest way to cope with their sexual trauma is to drink and to smoke.
Sexual assault is overlooked when it becomes about who is getting sexually assaulted and that men seem to be the only gender that is considered to be the attacker and not the victim. When I think about the word military, my first thoughts are: toughness, yelling, and doing the impossible. We all have our own thoughts on how the military is structured, but the military was never supposed to be intentionally contributing to sexual assault since military culture promotes masculinity. Castro, Kintzle, Lucas, Schuyler, and Warner (2015) have stated that sexual assault is based on: gender stereotyping, experiences, cultural acceptance, alcohol, historical and religious influences. They also provided a list of myths of sexual assaults, such as say that women are assaulted they should have reported getting the man that did this to them. I believe that others should be able to put themselves in others shoes and understand about their past. Society as a whole should stop stereotyping men and women that are being sexually assaulted and view them as the victim as a whole. No matter what your gender is male or female they should be noticed and helped.
I know that there are people out there that may not agree with my argument of men getting sexually assaulted. They may be asking “how are men more likely to get sexually assaulted if women are weaker than they are?”. Yes, women are more likely to get sexually assaulted than men in the military because men outnumber women in the military. Men are seen as beast and animals, and they are hungry for women to have sex with them. I do understand that as a woman myself I may not be as strong as a man to protect myself from assault, but I also do believe that women should have special care and protection for situation like sexual assault and harassment. The counterarguments that others would present, mainly that sexual assault cannot happen to men or that female victims need more attention, would not change my mind of my argument is because that is just a way to hide things and not wanting to accept what others may be doing wrong sexually to men in the military. Since women want to be treated the same as men, I believe that men should receive the same attention as women do in the military when they are seeking for help. Both genders that are being sexually assaulted and should be noticed by health groups, military officials, policy-makers and the society as a whole.
Castro, C., Kintzle, S., Schuyler, A., Lucas, C., & Warner, C. (2015). Sexual assault in the military. Current Psychiatry Reports, 17(7), 1-13.
Kimerling, R., Gima, K., Smith, M., Street, A., & Frayne, S. (2007). The veterans’ health administration and military sexual trauma. American Journal of Public Health, 97(12), 2160-2166.
Leskela, J., Dieperink, M., & Kok, C. (2001). Group treatment with sexually assaulted male veterans: A year in review. Group, 25(4), 303-319.