Nov. 4, 2014

Some Find New Pentagon Survey on Sex Assault Offensive

The methodology of the U.S. military’s biennial survey on sexual assault in the ranks is flawed. When the Pentagon tried to revise the survey, it received backlash because the questions were explicit and made some respondents uncomfortable, reported the Associated Press. One question asked: “Before 9/18/2013, had anyone made you insert an object or body part into someone’s mouth, vagina or anus when you did not want to and did not consent?” And that was one of the tamer questions. While the survey is used to craft policy, the participants are volunteers, which skews the numbers to headline-screaming highs, and instead of asking about “rape” or “sexual assault,” the survey asks about “unwanted sexual contact,” which could be defined anywhere from actual rape to a catcall. In two years, the Pentagon needs to seriously reconsider the survey, to make sure it’s scientific. More…

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