The military had a long history already of not acknowledging sexual assault. It wasn't just because women were devalued, as many of us thought. They never wanted to admit their shameful secret that men had been assaulted in numbers much larger than anyone knew--or guessed. The ideal culture they want to present is a band of brothers who've always got each others backs, not a culture where soldiers don't dare TURN their back on each other, especially if you're the new guy from a different part of the country with a funny name and non-traditional background.
I have long understood that men's sexual assaults, domestic violence assaults (as victims), and childhood sexual abuse were far under-reported. This is sad because it prevents them from supporting each other and getting help and it prevents society from creating effective strategies to address the level of need that actually exists. You can sometimes convince a woman to report because she may help save other women. Is that argument as effective with men who haven't been trained from childhood to put others' needs before their own? Can they develop that same level of solidarity?
And can an Obama-led military change it's procedures and culture to protect its soldiers?
I know my own father came back from Korea a changed man, as observed by his sister Laura. Now I wonder exactly what happened to him.
In at least one case, sweeping such assaults under the rug led to minors being assaulted by the perpetrator later on. Does anyone think that what happens in the military won't spill over to civilians?