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United States of America

Military-Related Sexual Trauma among Veterans' Health Administration Patients Returning from Afghanistan and Iraq

Citation:

Kimerling, Rachel, Amy E. Street, Joanne Pavao, Mark W. Smith, Ruth C. Cronkite, Tyson H. Holmes, and Susan M. Frayne. 2010. "Military-Related Sexual Trauma Among Veterans’ Health Administration Patients Returning from Afghanistan and Iraq." American Journal of Public Health 100 (8): 1409-1412.

Authors: Rachel Kimerling, Amy E. Street, Joanne Pavao, Mark W. Smith, Ruth C. Cronkite, Tyson H. Holmes, Susan M. Frayne

Abstract:

We examined military-related sexual trauma among deployed Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Of 125729 veterans who received Veterans Health Administration primary care or mental health services, 15.1% of the women and 0.7% of the men reported military sexual trauma when screened. Military sexual trauma was associated with increased odds of a mental disorder diagnosis, including posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders. Sexual trauma is an important postdeployment mental health issue in this population.
 

Keywords: sexual violence, military, veterans, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom

Annotation:

Quotes:
 
"For our study, we completed, to our knowledge, the first national, population-based assessment of the mental health profile associated with a history of military sexual trauma among deployed Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans who used Veterans Health Administration services." (1410) 
 
"Women and men who reported a history of military sexual trauma were significantly more likely than those who did not to receive a mental health diagnosis, including  posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders." (1411)
 
"Effect sizes for the relation of military sexual trauma to PTSD were substantially stronger among women compared with men, suggesting that military sexual trauma may be a particularly relevant gender-specific clinical issue in PTSD treatment settings." (1411)
 
"However, survivors of sexual trauma often delay disclosure and treatment of their experiences, and Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans report stigma associated with help-seeking." (1411)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Women, Men, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2010

Gender Roles and Cultural Continuity in the Asian Indian Immigrant Community in the US

Citation:

Das Dasgupta, Shamita. 1998. "Gender Roles and Cultural Continuity in the Asian Indian Immigrant Community in the US." Sex Roles 38 (11-12): 953-74.

Author: Shamita Das Dasgupta

Abstract:

Ethnic identity is a part of positive self-concept that consciously anchors an individual to a particular ethnic group. Central to this identity is a sense of belonging, as well as a commitment to the group's values, beliefs, behaviors, conventions, and customs. This study focuses on the Asian Indian community in the U.S. to investigate their concerns with the continuity of ethnic identity via maintenance of traditional culture. Intergenerational synchrony in two specific values, attitudes toward women and dating, were examined as indicators of successful transmission of culture and identity. Forty-six educated, middle class Indian immigrant families, the majority of whom were foreign born and Hindus, participated in this study by responding to three questionnaires: Attitude Toward Women Scale, Dating Scale, and IPAT Anxiety Scale. Although the results show a strong similarity between parents and children on target attitudes, distinct intergenerational and gender asymmetries emerged. The conscious attempt to preserve certain critical attitudes, values, and behaviors characteristic of the group was labeled “judicious biculturalism,” an expression of active involvement on the immigrants' part to control the course of their own acculturation. The study has implications for women's status within the Asian Indian community.

Keywords: gender roles, immigration, gender transformation

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Households Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, United States of America

Year: 1998

The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Issues for Congress

Citation:

Burrelli, David F. 2012. The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Author: David F. Burrelli

Abstract:

On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed P.L. 111-321 into law. It calls for the repeal of the existing law (Title 10, United States Code, §654) barring open homosexuality in the military by prescribing a series of steps that must take place before repeal occurs. One step was fulfilled on July 22, 2011, when the President signed the certification of the process ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which was repealed on September 20, 2011. However, in repealing the law and the so-called ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, a number of issues have been raised, but were not addressed by P.L. 111-321. This report considers issues that Congress may wish to consider as the repeal process proceeds.

Keywords: military, human rights, Don't Ask Don't Tell

Annotation:

This report examines such issues as “congressional oversight of the repeal process, differences in benefits and privileges some individuals may experience (especially differences created under the Defense of Marriage Act), changes involving sodomy prohibitions, and efforts by some to expand the repeal to include transgender individuals.” Burelli concludes that the final resolution to these additional issues that complicate the repeal of Section 654 may extend well beyond the initial date of repeal.

Topics: Governance, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military

Citation:

Belkin, Aaron. 2008. "Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military." Radical History Review, no. 100, 180-85.

Author: Aaron Belkin

Keywords: military, rape, masculinity

Annotation:

  • Belkin discusses the meaning of militarization, and how it is essential both for American citizens and international allies to view the army as a force for good that also represents an idealized form of masculinity. In order to maintain this image, the U.S. military covers up and naturalizes such occurrences as male-male rape in the armed forces. One of the ways in which this naturalization takes place is through connecting stigmatized outsiders such as homosexuals with these instances of rape, and portraying these outsiders as the perpetrators when in reality they are usually the victims. Belkin offers a critique of LGBT activists’ strategy of staying silent in reaction to the problem of male-male rape in the U.S. military.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against men, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

The Absence of Justice: Private Military Contractors, Sexual Assault, and the U.S. Government's Policy of Indifference

Citation:

Snell, Angela. 2011. "The Absence of Justice: Private Military Contractors, Sexual Assault, and the U.S. Government's Policy of Indifference." University of Illinois Law Review, no. 3, 1125-64.

Author: Angela Snell

Abstract:

As the United States remains in Iraq and Afghanistan, stories of abuse by private military contractors (PMCs) have flooded the news. This Note focuses on an area of PMC crime that has garnered less public attention and censure: sexual crimes against civilians in non-war zones. Emphasizing the lack of legal recourse for victims of sexual crime by PMCs and the systematic failure of the United States to punish sexual crime perpetrated by its own PMCs, the author argues that the United States should be held liable for the sexual crimes that its contractors commit, including those that occur outside of war zones.

This note first explains the exponential growth in the United States' use of PMCs and highlights that governmental supervision of PMCs has not kept pace with the number of contractors that the United States employs. Noting that PMCs generally employ former members of the military, the author traces a culture of violence against women back to attitudes learned in the U.S. military, and then shows that PMCs are even more likely to be involved in crimes of sexual violence than U.S. soldiers.

The Note details and analyzes the possibility of responding to PMC sexual violence against civilians outside of war zones under U.S. military law, U.S. criminal law, criminal law where the crime occurs, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, and the U.S. Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The author determines that these methods, as they stand now, are inadequate because of problems of limited jurisdiction, U.S. reluctance to prosecute contractors and willingness to protect U.S. nationals from prosecution abroad, requirements that violence be widespread or systematic before triggering international prosecution, and the absence of state liability for the actions of private individuals, unless the state condones the activities. The author calls for a three-fold solution: first, victims should file complaints against the United States in international courts, under the theory that the United States is liable for its contractors' acts, because it has condoned them by failing to punish them and even actively discouraging their prosecution; second, victims should sue individual perpetrators in the United States under the ATS, both to compensate victims and to deter contractors from future violence; third, and finally, the United States must act to close the jurisdictional gap that allows PMCs to escape prosecution by signing and supporting international treaties, developing its own stricter system of criminal liability for PMCs, and using contract mechanisms to enforce standards of conduct for PMCs.

Keywords: private security, sexual assault, accountability

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2011

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