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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Same-sex sexual violence in the military: A scoping review

August, 2020
Article:

This paper aims to map the literature pertaining to same-sex sexual violence (SSSV) in the military.

Abstract

Sexual violence (SV) is a globally prevalent issue, and the majority of research focuses on the historical view of SV as an act perpetrated by men against women. Same-sex sexual violence (SSSV) incidents represent a small proportion of recorded sexual offences, and therefore prevalence and consequences of this have received little attention. Male-dominated occupations, such as the military, are associated with higher rates of SV and data points to a particular vulnerability to SSSV of male service personnel (SP). This review aims to map the literature pertaining to SSSV in the military. A comprehensive scoping review methodology was adopted, following a rigorous accepted framework. Four databases were searched for English language, peer-reviewed, original research papers that were focused on SSSV in the military context. Eleven papers were identified that met the criteria for inclusion; 10 originated from the United States and one from South Korea. Themes identified included prevalence and nature of SSSV in the military, characteristics of survivors and perpetrators, barriers to reporting, and the outcomes associated with SSSV in the military. The evidence that does exist suggests that male SP are particularly at risk of SSSV, and experience poorer psychological and social outcomes due to SSSV compared to female SP and those who experience opposite-sex sexual violence (OSSV). More research is required internationally to provide accurate and up-to-date estimates of prevalence, and to account for cultural and structural differences in military organizations.

Full Reference

Godier-McBard, L. R. and Jones, M. L., 2020. Same-sex sexual violence in the military: A scoping review. JMVFH, 6(2), pp. 68-84. doi: 10.3138/jmvfh-2019-0052

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