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Sexual Assault In The Military Essay

1731 words - 7 pages

US Armed Forces is historically an organization lead by men, for men. It is comprised of about 14.5 % female and 85.5% male according to a 2011poll (CNN U.S, Jan 2014). In an organization with a rich history and legacy of obedience and restraint, it is hard to imagine the secret society of “The good ol boys”. It has been acceptable for men to “work hard, play hard”. We have all seen the movies where the men come back from overseas, invade the bars, have a good time, take a girl home, and it is acceptable behavior. What happens after they leave the bar? What happens when she says no? In November of 2013, there were 3,553 reported sexual assault cases (ABC News, 2013).
The Military is very diverse. Gender, race, and sexual orientation do not play a role in entry into the military. As colleges have placement tests for students, the military has a test called the ASVAB, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which tests different skills and abilities a recruit may have. Women are just as likely as men to be in career fields that in the civilian workforce are male dominant. In these types of career fields it is more difficult for women to find a mentor, someone to guide them and help them succeed whereas male supervisors will mentor male subordinates more freely (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013). Let us go back in history, taking into account just one career field, the military aviators. The first Untied states military aviator took to the sky in 1907. United States Aviators were all male until women were allowed to join the ranks almost 70 years later in 1974 (Wilson, 1996).
Sexual assault has been very prevalent in the military. In 1992, The Tailhook Scandal revealed an accepted culture of sexual assault that needed to change. During that period, the Secretary of the Navy tried to protect much of the senior naval participants much like the “Good Ol Boys” after Navy lieutenant Paula Coughlin came forward and revealed her sexual assault (Winerp, 2013). Paula Coughlin is an attractive female Naval Aviator and in 1992 there were only a hand full of female aviators, remember the first female aviators to join the navy were in 1974 and to date female aviators consist of 13%. This was, and still is, a male dominant work force. The problem has surfaced repeatedly as an organizational issue. More recently in 2012, news broke out about Sexual Assault scandal at Lackland Air Force Base basic training center. Just last year the director of the Air Force’s sexual assault and prevention program was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault (Winerp, 2013).
Sexual assault is a counterproductive work behavior, it takes members out of the work centers so that they can attend PowerPoint-based training on how to avoid sexual assault or how to be a Wingman. This is what the Air Force considers buddy-up or collaborating mechanism to increase personal accountability and vigilance. The Wingman concept is used to ensure that you watch your...

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