Murphy's Law: The Army Is Safer Than College

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June 6,2008: Periodically, usually on a slow news day, the mass media will run stories of sexual harassment and assault in the military. It does happen. Currently, about 210 per 100,000 members of the military are victims of sexual assault each year. However, 60 percent of the assaults were committed by non-military personnel. Moreover, the sexual assault rate is more than five times higher among the U.S. college population. That might be explained by the greater opportunity. About 55 percent of college students are women, while only 15 percent of military personnel are female. Then again, if you are in the military, you are trained to be far more disciplined than the average college student.

As for combat risk, that causes far less injury to military women each year than does sexual assault. So college life has no edge there. In fact, the greater opportunity to use drugs in college, puts women at more risk than in the military (where random drug tests are standard.)

Moreover, women in the military are all trained in the use of weapons, and how to protect themselves if attacked. Bottom line is that young women are safer in the military than they are in college, or as civilians. That said, military life is dirtier, bawdier and more tedious than what most women are willing to tolerate.

 


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