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Old 05-02-2019, 04:34 PM
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Why has the military sexual assault rate jumped nearly 40%?


From this article about the Pentagon's biennial report on sexual assault in the military, we learn that the rate has jumped 38% from 2016 to 2018. Where the fuck did the current military get the idea that sexual assault is back in fashion?
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:59 PM
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From this article about the Pentagon's biennial report on sexual assault in the military, we learn that the rate has jumped 38% from 2016 to 2018. Where the fuck did the current military get the idea that sexual assault is back in fashion?
My WAG? It was under-reported in the past, coupled with the fact that there are simply more women in the military than in the past. I don't think it's 'back in fashion' so much as the environment has changed, and shit that would have been handwaved away or maybe shrugged off isn't anymore...and women now are confident enough to not just put up with that shit, including in the military.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:03 PM
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Most likely it just simply was reported more often. There is no reason to believe that military men were less prone to assaulting women in the past.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:09 PM
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The surveys appear to have been anonymous, though, which you would think would mitigate the effect of past under-reporting. Plus we're only talking about a two year timespan - I seriously doubt there's been that much of a change in either female enrollment or attitudes to reporting in that time.

We have had a difference CiC setting an example of appropriate behavior, though. Wonder if that's emboldened anybody...
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:23 PM
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Most likely it just simply was reported more often. There is no reason to believe that military men were less prone to assaulting women in the past.
What, in those two years, inspired a close to 40% rise in reporting?
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:30 PM
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What, in those two years, inspired a close to 40% rise in reporting?
Are you being sarcastic?
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:33 PM
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The surveys appear to have been anonymous, though, which you would think would mitigate the effect of past under-reporting. Plus we're only talking about a two year timespan - I seriously doubt there's been that much of a change in either female enrollment or attitudes to reporting in that time.

We have had a difference CiC setting an example of appropriate behavior, though. Wonder if that's emboldened anybody...


Perhaps what constitutes 'sexual harassment' has changed in that time frame? I don't actually think that there was such a jump...it was happening with the same frequency (hell, I think more) in the past than today. A 40% jump in just 2 years seems fairly extreme. Instead, I think that things that were considered sexual harassment in 2016 broadened to a lot of stuff that would have been shrugged off before or handwaved away. I've seen the work place view of what is or isn't sexual harassment change fundamentally in the workplace in just the last few years (let alone how things were when I was younger to today), and I seriously doubt it's any different in the military today. And I basically think the idea that because Trump is president that means the military has lost it's mind and has jumped 40% in new sexual harassment is ridiculous. I'm, frankly, skeptical YOU believe that horseshit.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:44 PM
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There was a whole thing? Me Too?
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:48 PM
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We keep talking about women here as the victims but aren't a lot of the victims male?
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:03 PM
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What, in those two years, inspired a close to 40% rise in reporting?
Eh, the MeToo# movement?
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:03 PM
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Perhaps what constitutes 'sexual harassment' has changed in that time frame? I don't actually think that there was such a jump...it was happening with the same frequency (hell, I think more) in the past than today. A 40% jump in just 2 years seems fairly extreme. Instead, I think that things that were considered sexual harassment in 2016 broadened to a lot of stuff that would have been shrugged off before or handwaved away. I've seen the work place view of what is or isn't sexual harassment change fundamentally in the workplace in just the last few years (let alone how things were when I was younger to today), and I seriously doubt it's any different in the military today. And I basically think the idea that because Trump is president that means the military has lost it's mind and has jumped 40% in new sexual harassment is ridiculous. I'm, frankly, skeptical YOU believe that horseshit.
I don't think that the change is entirely based on a single factor. But pretending that we haven't seen a fast and massive escalation in horseshit like incels and the like in the past couple of years is a pretty big pile of horseshit itself. Point fingers whichever way you like, but that's a very rapey subculture that for one reason or another has quite suddenly decided that it can exist out in the open rather than under the rocks it used to dwell beneath. And I think it's nigh-certain that there are incels in the military.

And that "let alone how things were when I was younger to today" you let drop suggests to me that you're letting all that change in the past color your assumptions about the recent rise. I really don't think that there's been that massive a change in what's considered acceptable - though I do concede that Me Too could indeed be a contributing factor to the rise in reporting. I'm just not seeing it as causing the whole 38%.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:16 PM
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I don't think that the change is entirely based on a single factor. But pretending that we haven't seen a fast and massive escalation in horseshit like incels and the like in the past couple of years is a pretty big pile of horseshit itself. Point fingers whichever way you like, but that's a very rapey subculture that for one reason or another has quite suddenly decided that it can exist out in the open rather than under the rocks it used to dwell beneath. And I think it's nigh-certain that there are incels in the military.

And that "let alone how things were when I was younger to today" you let drop suggests to me that you're letting all that change in the past color your assumptions about the recent rise. I really don't think that there's been that massive a change in what's considered acceptable - though I do concede that Me Too could indeed be a contributing factor to the rise in reporting. I'm just not seeing it as causing the whole 38%.
It WAS worse when I was younger. Seriously, I remember all sorts of really, really bad shit that was out in the open. Color my assumptions? Good grief. I saw men slapping women on the ass, or deliberately telling dirty jokes or showing dirty pictures in the open in the past. I heard about bosses pressuring female subordinates into sex and getting away with it. A lot of that stuff wasn't even noticed. In the state I live in, it was a regular thing in many of the county's even 10 years ago, state, local employees, even elected officials. They really started hammering down on this in the last 5 years, and folks (mainly female employees) felt they could come forward or stand up to it in that time period. There has been a ton of programs to educate and address this, HR has gotten involved and there has been a ton of cases that came forward and hammered offenders. So, I don't think it's color my view...I think I see clearly that people are able to come forward now, even anonymously and feel empowered and able to do so without fear and without concern that their assertions will be stomped on or laughed at. And this isn't only sexual harassment...bullying and all sorts of other stuff are getting stomped on. As they fucking should be.

So, I don't think there was a huge increase in sexual harassment in the military from 2016 to 2018, nor do I think that men in the military suddenly felt that they could sexually harass their female counterparts because of Trump...I think that the view of what is sexual harassment has broadened and widened, and also people feel they can and should bring it up now.


ETA: On the anonymous part. A lot of employees felt (even today) that those sorts of 'anonymous' polls or whatever weren't all that 'anonymous', and with good reason. A lot of the times, the vendors doing them DID give the information in the past to the administration or the elected officials...or whoever was paying. Again, this has also been addressed, but even today many folks still won't take those sorts of polls, or won't actually give information they wouldn't want their bosses to see for fear it will come back on them.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:19 PM
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We keep talking about women here as the victims but aren't a lot of the victims male?
yeah thats the thing that no one really mentions .... lot of old "pranks hazings and "punishments" now fall under sexual assualts and the stigma for a male reporting such things is slowly fading away.......
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:29 PM
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Are you being sarcastic?
Half sarcastic, with a bit of jaw-drop at the suggestion that a 38% increase in reporting in just two years couldn't possibly mean that the rate of sexual assault might have also increased.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:32 PM
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We keep talking about women here as the victims but aren't a lot of the victims male?
Did you read the report?
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The service members with the highest risk of being assaulted are enlisted women between the ages of 17 and 24.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:40 PM
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I don't see how we can ascribe the increase to victims reporting incidents at a greater rate; even if that were so, it would mean that sexual assault was 40% higher than previously thought--which is no less appalling, especially given the military's efforts to address and reduce the problem.

But here's why I think it's not just a matter of under-reporting or there being more women in the military: if those were likely reasons, the Pentagon would be saying so. Those explanations make much better PR. And I'm pretty sure there are enough military statisticians that can figure out if the increase is attributable to more women in the military.

Also, one way to determine causes is to look at proposed solutions. Here are Acting DOD Secretary Patrick Shanahan's:

• seeking a stand-alone military crime of sexual harassment
• developing new tools to measure the problem
• launching a program to catch serial offenders
• improving assessments of the character of military applicants
• training for junior officers and junior enlisted leaders and focusing on prevention.

I suppose someone could quibble that developing new tools means the current tools, i.e., the survey, aren't accurate. I don't think so. I think if that were the case, Shanahan would have said the jump is attributable at least in part to faulty surveys. He sure wouldn't have said

Quote:
“To put it bluntly, we are not performing to the standards and expectations we have for ourselves or for each other. This is unacceptable. We cannot shrink from facing the challenge head on."
I'm glad Shanahan isn't trying to shrug off or minimize the enormity of the issue. The military's strategies have not been working.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:49 PM
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Never mind. I'm tired of playing No True Scotsman with the right.

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Old 05-02-2019, 11:02 PM
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ETA: On the anonymous part. A lot of employees felt (even today) that those sorts of 'anonymous' polls or whatever weren't all that 'anonymous', and with good reason. A lot of the times, the vendors doing them DID give the information in the past to the administration or the elected officials...or whoever was paying. Again, this has also been addressed, but even today many folks still won't take those sorts of polls, or won't actually give information they wouldn't want their bosses to see for fear it will come back on them.
Every time I've had one of those performance reports which include coworkers being asked about your work, I could tell exactly who had said what. References to specific details, writing style... un-anonimizing anything that's not purely multiple-choice is real easy.

And things such as "someone made a really nasty off-color joke in front of me, I complained about it and was told to 'suck it up'" being moved from the official suck it up list to the official unacceptable list means a double increase (not necessarily two fold, but on two fronts): both because incidents which previously not have counted now count, and because people feel more confident that their complaints will be taken seriously, whether they involve off-color jokes, down-naming, leers... it will not be met with a 'suck it up'. I'd attribute much more of the variation to those two factors than to a rise on the amount of jerks who feel they can be jerks openly (which yes, is also a factor, but nowhere near as high).
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:05 PM
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Did you read the report?
The most attractive enlisted women are of course the most frequent victims. However, what I have heard is that because the military has so many more men that women, for the people who actually handle sexual assault cases in the military, it is more frequent for the victim complaining to be a man.

I would assume that the current "jump" is an increase in reporting as well.

I would assume that the (almost all men) committing the assaults almost always do so on the spur of the moment, without a significant amount of forethought or planning. So measures to increase the punishments or counsel people not to do it I would not expect to be effective.

I don't think draconian punishment is effective, either - if anonymous surveys are true, a large (30%+) of men would commit an assault if the scenario were right. So removing offenders from the pool doesn't help if almost the majority of the pool are potential offenders.

What is effective is preventing the situations where these kinds of assaults are even potentially possible. Less alcohol, less scenarios where servicemembers are in groups together away from supervision, etc.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:46 PM
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if anonymous surveys are true, a large (30%+) of men would commit an assault if the scenario were right. So removing offenders from the pool doesn't help if almost the majority of the pool are potential offenders.
"30%+" does not equal "a majority", and education does work. Mind you, if the education consists of someone reading off a bunch of slides, that's not going to work as well as targeted or individual training (or "counseling" if you prefer) done by someone who actually understands and believes what (s)he's saying, but that also applies to basic math.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:43 AM
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The most attractive enlisted women are of course the most frequent victims. However, what I have heard is that because the military has so many more men that women, for the people who actually handle sexual assault cases in the military, it is more frequent for the victim complaining to be a man.

I would assume that the current "jump" is an increase in reporting as well.

I would assume that the (almost all men) committing the assaults almost always do so on the spur of the moment, without a significant amount of forethought or planning. So measures to increase the punishments or counsel people not to do it I would not expect to be effective.

I don't think draconian punishment is effective, either - if anonymous surveys are true, a large (30%+) of men would commit an assault if the scenario were right. So removing offenders from the pool doesn't help if almost the majority of the pool are potential offenders.

What is effective is preventing the situations where these kinds of assaults are even potentially possible. Less alcohol, less scenarios where servicemembers are in groups together away from supervision, etc.
Shanahan, whom I would expect to be more familiar with the details of the survey, doesn't mention anything about fewer service members in groups together away from supervision. I doubt that would be feasible, let alone effective. And what do you regard as "draconian" punishments for sexual assault?

Whether a rape, for instance, is planned in advance or done with little planning doesn't make it any less damaging to the victim or less a violation of military (and civilian) law. And while alcohol may well play a role, it's not the root cause. Let's not say that alcohol and socialization are the root problem: they're not. And preventing them won't prevent sexual assault. Ask any of the rape victims at BYU.

Shanahan wants to do better screening to keep likely sexual predators out of the military. He wants to do more prevention training with officers. He wants to make sexual harassment a stand-alone military crime. The "right scenario" for those 31% of men who admitted they'd rape a woman (if the question didn't call it "rape") was specified as not getting caught or punished. The focus should therefore be on ensuring those who sexually assault, drunk or sober, are caught and prosecuted, as well as finding more effective means of preventing sexual assault and changing the culture within the military that hasn't responded to previous efforts.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:27 AM
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Maybe the rules on fratensation have been reduced or more loosely enforced. I remember some former US military servicemen, on this board even, stating flatly that back when there were less women in the service, in mixed environments the NCO and officers would crackdown on the first hint of impropriety.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:12 AM
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Did you read the report?
Women are still a minority in the Armed Forces of the United States and in the army they make up approximately 14% of active duty soldiers and in the marines approximately 8%. It's certainly possible for people in a minority group to be at a disproportionate risk compared to the rest of the population and I have absolutely no reason to doubt that this isn't the case for women between the ages of 18-24. According to CNN, 1 in 3 servicemembers surved reported unwanted sexual contact. A lot of those are going to be male soldiers. I don't say that to diminish violence against women it's just that we tend to talk about sexual assault as a problem women in the military face without recognizing that males are often also victims.

Sexual assault is often under reported and I suspect the 40% increase they're seeing is largely the result of people being more willing to report assaults. Which is a good thing even if it's an awful subject.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:50 AM
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From this article about the Pentagon's biennial report on sexual assault in the military, we learn that the rate has jumped 38% from 2016 to 2018. Where the fuck did the current military get the idea that sexual assault is back in fashion?
Gee, who's the commander-in-chief these days?
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:52 AM
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Most likely it just simply was reported more often. There is no reason to believe that military men were less prone to assaulting women in the past.
I think it could be both under-reporting and also an increase in sexual assault. We're already seeing that the military is becoming a more hostile place for gay and transgender servicemen/women, and that kind of macho culture tends to breed other undesired "male" misbehavior.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:58 AM
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Maybe the rules on fratensation have been reduced or more loosely enforced. I remember some former US military servicemen, on this board even, stating flatly that back when there were less women in the service, in mixed environments the NCO and officers would crackdown on the first hint of impropriety.
Even now, good NCOs and officers crackdown on that crap. Even more fun was being a SNCO and cracking down on Officers being inappropriate with young enlisted women. And by "fun" I mean, something I hated doing even though it was necessary.

But everyone is not focusing on the REAL problem - false accusations of sexual assault!
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:29 AM
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I'm very familiar with this report. I'll leave it at that.

The vast majority of the assault is peer-to-peer, junior Enlisted to junior Enlisted. No sexual assault and harassment is good or acceptable.

But part of this is a byproduct of what happens when you put a bunch of young, frisky, health 17-24 year olds who have never been away from home before, together. Part of this is "me too." Part of this is that behavior that would never have been categorized as harassment or assault is now categorized as such. Especially on the harassment side (not specifically part of this report) conduct would normally be ignored or dealt with in a 20 second discussion (an amazing quick tap on the wrist to call to someone's attention that a meeting is about to end is one case in point recently), is now an initial investigation. And part is still men assaulting women.

I don't feel that the military is a less safe place to be. And the women in uniform that I work that I've discussed this with don't feel that way. But, I'm not a 20 year only woman on the deck plates either.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:54 AM
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an amazing quick tap on the wrist to call to someone's attention that a meeting is about to end is one case in point recently
Can you expand on this a little?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:03 AM
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Every time I've had one of those performance reports which include coworkers being asked about your work, I could tell exactly who had said what. References to specific details, writing style... un-anonimizing anything that's not purely multiple-choice is real easy.

And things such as "someone made a really nasty off-color joke in front of me, I complained about it and was told to 'suck it up'" being moved from the official suck it up list to the official unacceptable list means a double increase (not necessarily two fold, but on two fronts): both because incidents which previously not have counted now count, and because people feel more confident that their complaints will be taken seriously, whether they involve off-color jokes, down-naming, leers... it will not be met with a 'suck it up'. I'd attribute much more of the variation to those two factors than to a rise on the amount of jerks who feel they can be jerks openly (which yes, is also a factor, but nowhere near as high).
Exactly. In a lot of cases you can tell exactly who wrote what in those things. And, in the past, the vendors would just hand over the raw data to the administration or the elected officials, who in turn would give it to the various department heads, supervisors and others so they could see what the problems being brought up were. With the unsurprising result that reprisals happened, even thought he comments were supposed to be anonymous. That broken trust stuff has been hard to win back, too.

I don't think the younger kids really understand how bad things were in the past wrt sexual harassment in the work place. This isn't to say it's great now, but today, in most cases, a woman (or a man) CAN bring this stuff up and feel that they won't be further at risk, won't be laughed at or targeted by their supervisors or fellow peer workers or the administration, and something will be done...and if it isn't, many are now educated in the further steps they can take, legally. Also, I just think there has been a shift in the work place as to what is and what isn't acceptable behavior. Some folks who haven't gotten the message are in for a nasty shock if they keep doing this stuff. It's what I tell my people. We get training from the state on sexual harassment about ever quarter now, and often HR will send out video refreshers between that. As well as other things like bullying in the work place, or other, non-sexual harassment. The days when this stuff was just handwaved away or shrugged off are done, IMHO...or we are in the beginning of the end of that shit anyway. And that is a good thing.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:19 AM
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Can you expand on this a little?
It was just an example.

There was a meeting of about 15 people in a conference room. One of the women was taking about one point at the end of the meeting and we were about 5 minutes over. A man next to her lightly touched her wrist and said "we are way overtime here, lets wrap this up and we'll start the next meeting with this." He was in contact with her for perhaps half a second. I was there and barely remembered it. This would normally not be an issue or a minor issue at worst which she could have called his attention to directly with him after the meeting. She didn't discuss it with him, but went to HR and an investigation was launched which necessitated formally counseling.

My point was that this would go under the category of harassment. It wouldn't be part of this report of course, but it would be an additional case of harassment which no one that heard about this, male or female thought was an issue at all. IMHO, the me too movement, which is overall a net positive, doesn't yield positive results in all cases.

None of this means that harassment or assault is acceptable. But that an increase in reporting doesn't necessary mean there is in increase in harassment or assaults.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:22 AM
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I would assume that the (almost all men) committing the assaults almost always do so on the spur of the moment, without a significant amount of forethought or planning. So measures to increase the punishments or counsel people not to do it I would not expect to be effective.
I dispute this. Let's think of a scenario. Officer A sexually harasses officer B and Officer A's superior instantly grabs him, pulls out a knife, and slits Officer A's throat. Officer A flops on the floor like a fish with bloody hands holding his neck. He stops twitching after 30 seconds or so. All around watch, mouths hang open in shock.

If this was allowed, I would say that sexual assault/harassment in the near vicinity would drop to dang near zero. Forethought or not.

Now, obviously I am not saying sexual harassment deserves a death sentence. But the idea that "oh, since it is not forethought, punishment won't work" is silly. If it is swift and harsh, not too many examples will be needed.

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Old 05-03-2019, 09:23 AM
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What, in those two years, inspired a close to 40% rise in reporting?
It may be coincidental, but 2016 was when the Army opened all jobs to women, including armor, infantry and artillery. I wonder if that had an effect.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:28 AM
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It was just an example.
I understand. I was just wondering about the circumstances. Thanks for the additional info.

Guess that guy hadn't heard of "Don't touch people without their permission"
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I understand. I was just wondering about the circumstances. Thanks for the additional info.

Guess that guy hadn't heard of "Don't touch people without their permission"
I suppose.

Virtually all of people in the command though, both men and women, guessed that she had't heard of "act like a grown up handle it like a professional." She didn't come off well.

Last edited by spifflog; 05-03-2019 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:36 AM
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Generally in social science sudden large changes in measured behavior reflect a change in measurement more than a change in behavior. Either the definition of sexual assault has changed or the number of reporting entities has changed.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:38 AM
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A 38% percent decrease in sexual harassment reports would surely be reported as good news, and now we are to believe that a 38% increase in sexual harassment reports is a good thing because it only means that more people feel it is o.k. to report it?
Can somebody give me a damn good reason not to call "bullshit" at this point?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:48 AM
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A 38% percent decrease in sexual harassment reports would surely be reported as good news, and now we are to believe that a 38% increase in sexual harassment reports is a good thing because it only means that more people feel it is o.k. to report it?
Can somebody give me a damn good reason not to call "bullshit" at this point?
I don't think anyone said this is a good thing are they? A bit of hyperbole there?

And if it did decrease by 38%, I'd guess that there would be some who would say that culture may have changed making it less likely that women (and men) would come forward.

What I said (speaking only for myself) is that from my limited view and contract with only a small subsection of the military on a day-to-day basis, I don't see an increase in assault (or harassment). And that perhaps some of the increase is due to an elevated level of attention paid to this type of behavior and the reporting of it. Where that would meet with an actual level of assault I don't know.

I mentioned that the "me too" movement might be partially responsible for an increase in reporting not commensurate with an increase in assaults, but earlier you didn't conciser "me too" as a component. Perhaps you still aren't?

Last edited by spifflog; 05-03-2019 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:48 AM
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I suppose.

Virtually all of people in the command though, both men and women, guessed that she had't heard of "act like a grown up handle it like a professional." She didn't come off well.
!. Unless you conducted some sort of survey(or unless you are the Chaplain) you have no idea all of the people in the command thought...or which women are telling you what they think you want to hear just to play it safe.
2. Is this "lightly touching of the wrist" to let someone know that the person speaking should shut up something that is done to men also? When you've been to meetings where men have tended to run on, do you lightly touch their wrists?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:58 AM
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There was a meeting of about 15 people in a conference room. One of the women was taking about one point at the end of the meeting and we were about 5 minutes over. A man next to her lightly touched her wrist and said "we are way overtime here, lets wrap this up and we'll start the next meeting with this." He was in contact with her for perhaps half a second. I was there and barely remembered it. This would normally not be an issue or a minor issue at worst which she could have called his attention to directly with him after the meeting. She didn't discuss it with him, but went to HR and an investigation was launched which necessitated formally counseling.
Would he even 'lightly touch the wrist' of a male co-worker and expect it to be OK? An awful lot of the 'lightly touch the wrist' and 'guide them by touching their lower back' stuff are things that guys absolutely will not do to other guys, which indicates pretty clearly that they already know it's a problem. If it was the CEO, would he come up and pat the CEOs arm to make his point? In any event, I'm not really sure why it's unreasonable to expect people to manage to master first grade level skills like 'don't touch people' in a professional environment, but if someone hasn't learned such basic lessons they clearly need to be taught.

Expecting her to confront the guy directly is silly; as your own response demonstrates, the guy would just shrug it off and say it's no big deal. Even after HR stepped in to try to inform him that touching other employees is not cool, he apparently denies that it's a problem, as do you and a number of other people that you've talked to. Also, as an adult it's not really her job to teach co-workers elementary-school level social skills like 'STOP TOUCHING ME BILLY'.

Quote:
My point was that this would go under the category of harassment. It wouldn't be part of this report of course, but it would be an additional case of harassment which no one that heard about this, male or female thought was an issue at all. IMHO, the me too movement, which is overall a net positive, doesn't yield positive results in all cases.
Note that your response here is factually incorrect; both the victim and HR heard about this and thought it was an issue. The fact that you're making what are clearly false claims about the incident to discredit the victim is a pretty good indicator of what she could expect if she did try to confront the guy directly, and of the social backlash she could expect from people telling her to just suck up touchy mcfeely's wrist fondling if she didn't go to HR.

Last edited by Pantastic; 05-03-2019 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by spifflog View Post
What I said (speaking only for my self) is that from my limited view and contract with only a small subsection of the military on a day-to-day basis, I don't see an increase in assault (or harassment). And that perhaps some of the increase is due to an elevated level of attention paid to this type of behavior and the reporting of it.

I mentioned that the me too movement might be partially responsible for an increase in reporting not commensurate with an increase in assaults, but earlier you didn't conciser me too as a component. Perhaps you still aren't?
Do you consider a rise in harassment due to various factors(the history of their current Harasser-In-Chief among those factors) a possibility?
Even if the #me too movement is somehow a factor, it is still bad news because that means that the problem has been much worse than has previously been admitted...and if so, it is a problem you don't seem to see, according to your own words.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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!. Unless you conducted some sort of survey(or unless you are the Chaplain) you have no idea all of the people in the command thought...or which women are telling you what they think you want to hear just to play it safe.
2. Is this "lightly touching of the wrist" to let someone know that the person speaking should shut up something that is done to men also? When you've been to meetings where men have tended to run on, do you lightly touch their wrists?
You're correct of course.

I mean, I was there and know and work with these people, and you don't so, I'm sure you're view point is the correct one.

But yes, I've seen men touch other men to get their attention with no resulting HR contact or fisticuffs.

If we are headed to a world in which any interaction between two individuals that isn't 100% satisfactory to both parties results in a call to HR or the police 100% of the time, God help us. For most complaints of a lesser nature, the first step is supposed to be resolution between the two parties. You and others clearly would advocate blowing though that step.

This will be my last post going down this rabbit hole.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:11 AM
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You're correct of course.

I mean, I was there and know and work with these people, and you don't so, I'm sure you're view point is the correct one.

But yes, I've seen men touch other men to get their attention with no resulting HR contact or fisticuffs.

If we are headed to a world in which any interaction between two individuals that isn't 100% satisfactory to both parties results in a call to HR or the police 100% of the time, God help us. For most complaints of a lesser nature, the first step is supposed to be resolution between the two parties. You and others clearly would advocate blowing though that step.

This will be my last post going down this rabbit hole.
If this is the attitude you take when talking about the subject amongst your peers, then there may be a very good reason why you never hear about problems.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:34 AM
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Yeah, it does seem like other women would react negatively to your "Act like a professional" response to someone complaining about unwanted touching and would be reluctant to mention that they, too, do not like unwanted touching.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:26 AM
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Yeah, it does seem like other women would react negatively to your "Act like a professional" response to someone complaining about unwanted touching and would be reluctant to mention that they, too, do not like unwanted touching.
I said I wouldn't do this, but here I go.

Not surprisingly, the people that had most issue with this were the women.

What most in our office (senior in grade, middle age) expected her to do was to go to him and tell him that she had a issue with it. That is way it's supposed to work in the Federal government, at least here in DoD. It was not sexual, and was viewed by all that discussed it with me as very, very minor at best. Knowing him, he would have apologized and said that it would never happen again. He had no history of this at all. She had only been in her job for about a year, he has been here for a decade or more. If he had blown her off or if the issue had been repeated, no one would have had issue with going to HR.

To the two women who came to me, they said that it made it appear that women couldn't handle this on their own their own and they had to go to "daddy" (their words) to make it right. And they just thought it as chicken s***. They both said that they wish they had known what she was doing and they would have counseled her to do things differently.

I obviously don't know where you all work, but I'm really flabbergasted that most don't think that there is some (any?) individual responsibility for peer-to-peer resolution of minor concerns. Do you think anything should be resolved without HR being involved?
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:32 AM
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Sure, it would be cool if she felt comfortable about going to the guy and telling him. But maybe she didn't? Maybe she had a bad experience in the past going directly to a guy that touched her?

I was in the AF for 22 years. And yes, people could go to their supervisor, or chaplain, or commander if they had an issue. But some things are set up specifically so if a person doesn't feel comfortable, they can go right to agencies that are there precisely for that reason. EEO, HR, Sexual Assault coordinator. That's why they exist. Making fun of someone or thinking less of them for utilizing resources that are there for that very reason seems troubling to me.

Edited to add: And it seems to me that is the very reason many people are reluctant to do so, since they are feeling degraded by their coworkers for doing so.

Last edited by manson1972; 05-03-2019 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:06 PM
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If someone touched your wrist and you went to HR, then your co-workers are well within their rights to laugh at you. Plus, absent other circumstances, it means maybe military life is not for you.

Which makes me think, there was a lot more to the story than "touched on the wrist".
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:11 PM
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I
What most in our office (senior in grade, middle age) expected her to do was to go to him and tell him that she had a issue with it. That is way it's supposed to work in the Federal government, at least here in DoD.
Two questions:

1) Do you know for sure that she hadn't spoken to him previously in private on another occasion?

2) Do you know for sure that she hadn't tried previously to take other people aside and discuss similar issues with them, and had poor results from that technique? (I don't, actually, even see how you could know this.)

-- wait a minute, I've got a third: do you know whether other people had spoken to the touchy person previously about it, and had told the complainant this?
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:19 PM
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If someone touched your wrist and you went to HR, then your co-workers are well within their rights to laugh at you. Plus, absent other circumstances, it means maybe military life is not for you.

Which makes me think, there was a lot more to the story than "touched on the wrist".
Yes, you should definitely laugh at your coworker who utilizes the system set up specifically for them to use if they feel uncomfortable.

That will definitely make more people want to use that system.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:35 PM
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If someone touched your wrist and you went to HR, then your co-workers are well within their rights to laugh at you. Plus, absent other circumstances, it means maybe military life is not for you.

Which makes me think, there was a lot more to the story than "touched on the wrist".

<history professor's hat firmly on>
In Viking law, you could get outlawed for tugging on a woman's sleeve.
And outlawing was a big fucking deal back then - it meant, literally, that the laws didn't apply to you any more. You were, in fact, outside of the laws. Including any law that said things like "If you steal from..." or "If you take an axe to...". You basically became a meat-based free-for-all.

So it seems like a disproportionate punishment for the "crime", right ? On the surface, yes. But while it isn't explicitly stated in the laws or lore, the consensus is that the Vikings reasoned that if a given woman was so utterly pissed off at you that merely tugging at her sleeve was abhorrent enough to her that she'd take you to court and condemn you to death in so many words ; well, maybe you did some shit to her before that. It simply was easier for her to prove that you'd tugged at her sleeve (in public, with witnesses), and admitting to having her sleeve tugged at was less damaging to her reputation and future than whatever shit you really pulled that got her worked up.
Now, this was of course back in the day when community and personal reputation meant something, and they lived in small towns where everyone knows everything about everyone, and before the era of "anything for that paycheck" American Dream-ish. But still - patriarchy is enough of a thing that I really, but really don't buy the MRA trope of women falsely accusing men for fun, fame or profit. When even virtous whistleblowing gets one fired and blacklisted and hounded for the rest of your days... yeah.
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I'm not sure how to respond to this, but that's never stopped me before.

Last edited by Kobal2; 05-03-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:15 PM
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<history professor's hat firmly on>
In Viking law, you could get outlawed for tugging on a woman's sleeve.
And outlawing was a big fucking deal back then - it meant, literally, that the laws didn't apply to you any more. You were, in fact, outside of the laws. Including any law that said things like "If you steal from..." or "If you take an axe to...". You basically became a meat-based free-for-all.

So it seems like a disproportionate punishment for the "crime", right ? On the surface, yes. But while it isn't explicitly stated in the laws or lore, the consensus is that the Vikings reasoned that if a given woman was so utterly pissed off at you that merely tugging at her sleeve was abhorrent enough to her that she'd take you to court and condemn you to death in so many words ; well, maybe you did some shit to her before that. It simply was easier for her to prove that you'd tugged at her sleeve (in public, with witnesses), and admitting to having her sleeve tugged at was less damaging to her reputation and future than whatever shit you really pulled that got her worked up.
Now, this was of course back in the day when community and personal reputation meant something, and they lived in small towns where everyone knows everything about everyone, and before the era of "anything for that paycheck" American Dream-ish. But still - patriarchy is enough of a thing that I really, but really don't buy the MRA trope of women falsely accusing men for fun, fame or profit. When even virtous whistleblowing gets one fired and blacklisted and hounded for the rest of your days... yeah.
Great post. Thanks.
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