Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Straights in the Military
I thought it might be worthwhile to look at the real world evidence on the flip side of the coin: How are STRAIGHTS in the military behaving themselves?
As it turns out, too often they're not behaving too well.
One in three female soldiers will experience sexual assault while serving in the military, compared to one in six women in the civilian world. The Pentagon released a disturbing report Tuesday on sexual abuse in the military, saying that more than 2,900 sexual assaults were reported last year, up nearly 9 percent from the year before. Nearly two-thirds of the cases involved rape or aggravated assault.
source (CBS News)
The analysis found 2,923 sexual assault "reports" in fiscal 2008, which is roughly an 8 percent increase compared to fiscal 2007.
source (Dept of Defense)
Clearly, SOME straights in the military have a hard time behaving decently. There is a documented real world problem there (one that the military at least says it's trying to eradicate).
How about the incidents of gay folk misbehaving in the military? Assaults or unwanted sexual confrontations? Any statistics? Any numbers?
I WAS able to find one report from back in 1993 of an assault by a gay sailor on a straight sailor. Other than that, not much.
When we're talking about gay folk in the military, I think reasonable people would want to know: IS there a real world problem or is it all a matter of feelings and worries and fears?
Lacking any evidence of any actual problems in the real world, I hope most folk would excuse us if we tend to ignore worries and fears that aren't based on anything other than worries or fears.
So, if we were looking strictly at the evidence, perhaps we could make a case that we ought to be more picky about the straight males we recruit into our military? I wouldn't go so far as to say that straights ought not be allowed to serve in the military, though. I'm liberal, that way.
After all, we ought to be concerned about actual misbehavior, not basing policy on feelings of discomfort. And MOST straight soldiers don't have a problem behaving, so why would we punish them for the misbehavior of a few?