Experiences of Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Assault during Military Service among LGBT and Non‐LGBT Service Members

Citation:

Schuyler, Ashley, Cary Klemmer, Mary Rose Mamey, Sheree M. Schrager, Jeremy T. Goldbach, Ian W. Holloway, and Carl Andrew Castro. 2020. "Experiences of Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Assault during Military Service among LGBT and Non‐LGBT Service Members." Journal of Traumatic Stress 33 (3): 257-66.

Authors: Ashley Schuyler, Cary Klemmer, Mary Rose Mamey, Sheree M. Schrager, Jeremy T. Goldbach, Ian W. Holloway, Carl Andrew Castro

Abstract:

Sexual victimization, including sexual harassment and assault, remains a persistent problem in the U.S. military. Service members identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) may face enhanced risk, but existing research is limited. We examined experiences of sexual harassment, stalking, and sexual assault victimization during service in a sample of LGBT and non‐LGBT active duty service members. Service members who identified as LGBT (n = 227 LGB, n = 56 transgender) or non‐LGBT (n = 276) were recruited using respondent‐driven sampling for an online survey. Logistic regression models examined the correlates of sexual and stalking victimization. Victimization was common among LGBT service members, including sexual harassment (80.7% LGB, 83.9% transgender), stalking (38.6% LGB, 30.4% transgender), and sexual assault (25.7% LGB, 30.4% transgender). In multivariable models, LGB identity remained a significant predictor of sexual harassment, OR = 4.14, 95% CI [2.21, 7.78]; stalking, OR = 1.98, 95% CI [1.27, 3.11]; and assault, OR = 2.07, 95% CI [1.25, 3.41]. A significant interaction between LGB identity and sex at birth, OR = 0.34, 95% CI [0.13, 0.88], suggests an elevated sexual harassment risk among male, but not female, LGB service members. Transgender identity predicted sexual harassment and assault at the bivariate level only. These findings suggest that LGBT service members remain at an elevated risk of sexual and/or stalking victimization. As the military works toward more integration and acceptance of LGBT service members, insight into victimization experiences can inform tailored research and intervention approaches aimed at prevention and care for victims.

Topics: Gender, Health, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

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