Thursday, June 12, 2014

Worth the read on sexual assault in the combat environment

Jenna Grassbaugh has written an interesting article, TheOpaque Glass Ceiling: How Will Gender Neutrality in Combat Affect MilitarySexual Assault Prevalence, Prevention, and Prosecution? 11 OHIO STATE J.CRIM. L. 319 (2014).
Grassbaugh discusses the provocative assertion that with the entry of women into more combat units and environments, there will be an increase in the number of sexual assaults.  Some of her underlying information is off in some places.  But that does not seriously detract from a well written article that seeks to add a nuance to the women in combat arguments.  She does benefit from her own active duty experience as well as that of one or two of her advisors.  She tells us in the introduction that: 

This article will explore the seemingly paradoxical relationship between the two phenomena. Part I will detail the nature of the ongoing sexual assault crisis, including past and present attempts at reform; Part II will describe the nature of the proposed inclusion policy, including challenges associated with integration; Part III will consider the relationship between sexual assaults and the proposed inclusion policy; and Part IV will advocate for a change in deep-rooted military culture to reduce sexual assaults and facilitate the transition from a gender-restrictive to a gender-neutral force. This article will argue that because the policy of opening historically male-only combat positions to women will cause an increase in the frequency of service-member on service-member sexual assaults, nothing short of a drastic change in military culture will ensure the long-term success of such a policy.

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