Women in the Military, recruitment , Sexual trauma
For a long time recruitment of women in the military was kept at minimal. However, in the present era the face of military has taken a drastic change as more and more women join the armed forces. Currently, women make up 14 percent of US forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq (Carreiras 2013). Statistics predicts that the numbers are yet to rise. However, as the number of women veterans continue to rise closing up the gender gap, critical sociological issues affecting women in the military have surfaced. The very fact that women in the military are limited or restricted to certain jobs and ranks because of their sex brings to light the case of gender inequality and discrimination, which is synonymous with the armed forces. Military culture with no doubt promotes sexism (Boldry, Wood & Kashy, 2001). Military life calls for unwavering obedience to superiors who are mostly men. Women are constantly reminded of their position in the society as the weak and inferior ones. Sexism within the military has given rise to sexual trauma, cases of sexual harassment have increased, with reports indicating that 13 to 30 percent of women in the military have experienced rape in the course of their service (Boldry, Wood & Kashy, 2001).
Sexual trauma in the military encompasses harassment, assault, rape and other violent related issues. For the majority of women in the military sexual harassment begins in the academy. Female cadets are welcomed by open hostility, constant sexual advances and repeated scenarios of hazing (Williams & Bernstein, 2011). In worst case scenarios, the hazing may be extreme to the extent of endangering the lives of the female cadets , for instance, when their clothes are set on fire (Williams & Bernstein, 2011). Unfortunately, sexual trauma incidences within the academies go unreported. It is crucial to realise that it is not only female cadets who endure repeated sexual harassment and abuse. Researches indicate that women of ranking and those in active duty also fall victim to multiple sexual harassments regardless of their military ranks (Williams & Bernstein, 2011).
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