December 26, 2005: Ever since American women were first recruited
for regular military service 90 years ago, there were fears that sexual
harassment would be a disruptive influence. Because the military is a
very disciplined organization, this has proved not to be the case.
There is sexual harassment, but much less than in civilian jobs. A
recent Department of Defense survey of 76,000 members of the military
reserves found that 53 percent of men and 33 percent of women believed
there was less sexual harassment than in civilian jobs. In
addition, 44 percent of the women saw no difference in the degree
of sexual harassment at military and civilian workplaces.
reservists make an ideal population to study, because they went
straight from civilian jobs, to military ones, when they were activated
for service in the war on terror. Moreover, 60 percent of men and 46
percent of women believed that sexual harassment had become less
frequent, and less of a problem, since September 11, 2001. This is
partly because the decrease in sexual harassment is the result of
ongoing programs against it, and a wartime atmosphere in the military.
the troops are no longer allowed access to booze or prostitutes in the
war zone, and about fifteen percent of the troops are female, there is
a lot of sexual activity among the troops. This is largely against the
regulations. But enforcing a ban on consensual sex is seen as
counter-productive, and the hanky-panky is tolerated. For the moment.