The Baltimore Sun has an article about military sexual assault and this time it actually informs readers that the problematic survey endlessly quoted by critics shows that most of the unwanted sexual contact (USC) is reported by males. The article infers these males were assaulted by other males and then provides a few anecdotal examples to include all the way back in the 1970s. However the author’s most recent example from 2009 I am skeptical of:
When Jeloudov arrived for basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., he says, the taunting began immediately: “You commie fag, you Russian fag. You actors, you’re all faggots.”
And then, the chilling warning: “We’re going to teach you a lesson.”
Two weeks into basic training, Jeloudov says, he was gang-raped.
“I go and try to explain it to one of the commanders. He just said, ‘Why did you tell them about the acting? Why did you tell them anything about Russia? This would never have happened if you had kept your mouth shut.’ So I’m to blame.”
Jeloudov was asked if he knew the names of his attackers. He didn’t.
He says he was told the assault must not have happened.
“From that point on,” says Jeloudov, 39, now homeless in San Francisco, “there was no point in saying anything.” [Baltimore Sun]
I am skeptical that two weeks into basic training that other new enlisted members still scrambling from the shock of their new environment would think it is a good time to go gang rape someone. The author actually admits that he can not verify any of the stories and yet publishes them anyway. I wonder if he even bothered to request their service records to verify if the were even in the military? Why didn’t the author contact the basic training drill sergeants and commander to get their side of the story? I am not saying these events did not happen but I would expect a little journalism to substantiate them instead of nothing.
Something else the author does is once again equate the survey definition of unwanted sexual contact as the same as sexual assault:
The outrage over sexual assault in the military has focused largely on female service members, and with reason: A woman in uniform is much likelier to be targeted than a man, Pentagon surveys indicate. But because male service members greatly outnumber females, officials believe the majority of sexual assault victims — 53 percent in 2012 — are men.
As I have stated repeatedly unwanted sexual contact is not sexual assault. It also being assumed the males that reported USC in the survey had it committed by other males. The survey does not breakdown the reported USC by gender but it does say 51% of the males that reported USC said it was unwanted touching. So how much of this statistic is from women touching a males butt or thigh at the club?
Bottom line is that once again this is either lazy or advocacy journalism that does not try to present facts to inform readers. Instead it presents misinterpreted statistics and unsubstantiated accusations to push an agenda.