Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) called on the military to do more to crack down on sexual assault in its ranks on Tuesday, while also worrying that they may be hard to stop because of the natural “hormone level” of the young men serving.
“The young folks who are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. So we’ve got to be very careful how we address it on our side,” Chambliss told top military officials at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “But guys, we are not doing our job. You’re not doing yours, and we are not doing ours with the rates we are seeing on sexual assaults.”
While he’s at least making the point that something should be done, “hormones” don’t explain why this kind of behavior is so disgustingly prevalent – a study by the Pentagon found that 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted last year alone.
What makes this possible is the perceived lack of repercussions for such behavior. And it’s no wonder they think they can get away with it: they can. Hell, just this April an Air Force pilot convicted of sexual assault had the decision overturned by a three-star general and is now reinstated. In an environment where there’s no punishment for acting like an animal, the worst of the young men in the military are doing just that.