Far more military men are being raped by other men and experience other sexual traumas than is reported by the Pentagon
because of the stigma attached to such assaults, says a new study released Tuesday by the American Psychological Association.
"Rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported, largely because of barriers associated with stigma, beliefs in myths about male rape, and feelings of helplessness,
" the APA said in releasing findings published in its periodical Psychological Services
If the survey of male combat veterans is accurate, it could mean the U.S. armed forces are dealing with an epidemic of male-on-male sex crimes. Comparing the new study's numbers and the Pentagon
's survey results produced some shocking statistics. The Rand Corp., which conducted the most recent Pentagon
sexual assault survey in 2014, found that about 12,000 men reported being assaulted. Sexual assault in the military is defined as unwanted sexual contact, including rape and other assaults or the attempt to commit those acts.
Of the 12,000 male victims, 3,850 reported "penetrative" attacks — meaning they were raped. Extrapolating the study's estimates of up to 15 times greater than the Pentagon's count, it would mean that as many as 180,000 men are assaulted in one year and, of those, 57,750 are "penetrative" attacks.
The scholarly survey refers to "male sexual trauma," which translated to this survey question response: "I was sexually assaulted while serving in the military."