Women in the U.S. military are nearly 10 times more likely than men to experience sexual assault or harassment, a recent veterans study suggests.
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Researchers from the Department of Veteran Affairs surveyed more than 20,000 men and women who served during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. About 41 percent of women and 4 percent of men reported suffering some form of sexual harassment during their time in the military.
According to the report, the U.S Military defines Military Sexual Trauma (MST) as “psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a VA mental health professional, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.”
“Research among both civilians and those who have served in the military consistently find that rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment are higher among women than among men,” lead study author Shannon Barth of the VA told Business Insider.
Women who experience MST are known to have various reactions and responses to the life-changing trauma. Information in the report shows race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and other cultural variables can also affect the impact of MST, leaving soldiers of both sexes struggling with psychological issues such as PTSD and difficulty navigating relationships.
To learn more about MST and the veterans study visit Business Insider.