Aberdeen Proving Ground Investigation Essay

1103 words - 4 pages

In 1996, Captain Derrick Robinson, Sergeant Delmar Simpson, and Sergeant Nathanael Beech were arraigned for their suspected involvement in one of the biggest sex scandals the United States Military had seen. According to CNN, between these three men, charges of rape and adultery were pending in a huge case of sexual misconduct against female soldiers at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland (CNN, 2996). Following this incident, the United States Military took it upon themselves to open a telephone hotline to encourage the reporting of similar harsh crimes. Furthermore, the spike in reporting influenced extensive research to examine the prevalence of rape against women soldiers in the U.S. Military (Titunik, 2000). This paper will explore the dynamics of rape against women soldiers in the military and the research done on its prevalence.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground sexual assault investigation was initiated by a trail of complaints submitted by women trainees who reported assaults perpetrated by drill sergeants on the base. Females were no strangers to military service, however, this 1996 investigation was the beginning of a series of female complaints that brought attention to the service of women in the military, (Titunik, 2000). In 1991, the largest enrollment of women soldiers was recorded during the Persian War. This marked a propelling increase in the amount of women enlisting for military service. During Persian War, Congress would finally allow women to serve in combat (Titunik, 2000).
From the end of the draft in 1973 to the military data from 2003, the number of women in service rose from 2 percent to 12 percent. A sample of military women studied in 1991 showed 69 percent to have experienced sexual harassment and about 7 percent to have experienced sexual assault, more specifically (Street, A. E., Stafford, J., Mahan, C. M., & Hendricks, A., 2008). Nineteen years later, in 2010, women made up about 14 percent of all the soldiers listed on active duty (Holt, K., Grindlay, K., Taskier, M., & Grossman, D., 2011). In a study of over 3,000 women outpatients registered in the Veterans Affairs (VA), researchers used a survey to determine the rate of sexual assault in the military (SAIM). Of the 3,543 women who answered the question about SAIM, 805 (23%) confirmed that they had experienced it in some form. The authors take it upon themselves to point out that this percentage is substantially comparative to the estimated 5-27% of American women who report sexual assault in their life times (Frayne, S. M., Skinner, K. M., Sullivan, L. M., Tripp, T. J., Hankin, C. S., Kressin, N. R., & Miller, D. R., 1999).
Moreover, a 2009 study on 3,161 veteran women showed that about 24 percent of the respondents had been sexually assaulted (McCall-Hosenfeld, J. S., Liebschutz, J. M., Spiro III, A., & Seaver, M. R., 2009). As seen within the evidence this data provides, both studies showed similar, shockingly high numbers. According to...

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