Why does Sexual Assault Increase in Army

Much of the preventative measures of the Army is teaching how to understand consent and to know that sexual harassment and assault are not tolerated. However it should include the topic of why it happens instead of just how to stop it. The three key foundations in which give desire to people to sexually assault are cultural influences, learned behavior and false biological justifications, and thus the main objective in preventing sexual assault in the army should be to address “the complex interactions between learning, biological, and cultural factors.” (Gannon A.T. & Ciardha C.O.)

Studies suggest that a large percentage of perpetrators were at one point a victim of sexual violence themselves. In regards to that, the third primary cause of sexual violence is learned behavior. This is defined by a persons childhood and how a guardian or mentor has treated the subject of sexuality. The most negative influence on an adolescents future perspective of healthy sexuality is to abuse or harass them, in particularly with expressive sexual intent. Such abuse can cause the individual to develop around the notion that sexuality is an aggressive or inherently evil subject. The SHARP program should include the ability for soldier to seek aid with victimization and to rehabilitate them regardless if the incident occurred prior to enlisting.

Rape culture is a serious causation of sexual violence. It is defined as “an environment in which sexual abuse is prevalent and in which sexual violence is normalized and excused in media and popular culture.” (Tolliver L.) This type of society is apparent in scenarios such as objectifying individuals, accusing victims, and characterizing a gender with unnecessary requirements (manhood/ womanhood). This impacts many in the army and measure should be taken by greater enforcement of equality and understanding of who’s fault it is in an incident in SHARP briefs.

It is theorized that a reason for sexual violence is that it is a favorable quality in reproduction. The theory explains that the reason it is a trait is because through evolution, males who asserted rape consistently with many females had higher chances of many offspring, therefor passing down the genetic coding for the trait. However, the more highly recognized/respected theory stating this is false, debunks this concept by questioning then why sexual assault occurs against adolescence, mentally impaired and males. Two concerns arise; One, that the notion that males inherently assault should not be the general understanding, and two that even if the original theory were true, it should not be used as an excuse that sexual violence is acceptable. This should be addressed in SHARP classes to cease the ideology that it is natural and excusable.

In conclusion, much of the issues is how soldiers impact and influence fellow soldiers. If we can eliminate the misunderstandings of sexuality, child abuse and traumatization, and negative attitudes towards gender through extensive insight on these through SHARP programs.


Gannon A.T. & Ciardha C.O.,(11 July 2014) Psychological Theories Related to Sexual Violence and Abuse. Retrieved 14 August 2018, From https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263818409_Psychological_Theories_Related_to_Sexual_Violence_and_Abuse Tolliver L., & Snyder C., (Updated Daily) What is The Rape Culture. Retrieved 14 August 2018, From https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

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Why Does Sexual Assault Increase In Army. (2019, Feb 20). Retrieved September 28, 2021 , from

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