Opinion

Marine Corps captain calls sexual-assault hysteria an ‘exaggeration’

If Lindsay Rodman were a lib, she’d be as well known as Sandra Fluke.

She’s not, though. She’s just a Marine Corps captain and Harvard Law graduate with a background in women’s studies. And she’s not afraid to speak her mind.

militarysexassaultAnd what’s on her mind is that the alleged epidemic of military sexual assault is an exaggeration born of shoddy statistical work that Rodman says is doing a disservice to the service.

“If we are exaggerating what is going on rather than being precise about it, then we are doing ourselves a disservice by helping perpetuate the problem,” Rodman says in a profile published in Tuesday’s USA Today. 

Rodman’s views first became widely known when the Wall Street Journal published her opinion piece in May debunking a survey that estimated up to 26,000 servicemen and women had experienced some form of sexual assault during their time in uniform.

In the Wall Street Journal piece, Rodman bluntly disagreed:

“The 2012 estimate was also significantly higher than the last estimate, causing some to proclaim a growing ‘epidemic’ of sexual assault in the military. The truth is that the 26,000 figure is such bad math — derived from an unscientific sample set and extrapolated military-wide — that no conclusions can be drawn from it.”

Rodman faulted the survey that led to the that figure on a number of grounds (read the whole piece, it’s worth it), but primarily to the number  of women who were invited to take the survey compared to men and the ludicrous extrapolation of its results that considered men as likely as women to be victims of sexual assault.

“To achieve the 26,000 military-wide estimate in 2012 (and 19,000 in 2010) over half of the victims must have been male,” Rodman writes. “Of course, male victims do exist, but empirically males do not constitute anywhere near the majority of victims of unwanted sexual contact — no less sexual assault.”

Rodman, whose Judge Advocate General duties include sexual assault cases, is flying in the face of the military hierarchs in the Joint Chiefs, who have been so cowed by liberals like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., as well as the man who should be their civilian champion, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, that it’s handicapped their capacity to defend themselves – and the country.

“In the past year or so,” she writes, “… potential female recruits have grown increasingly wary, asking … whether women are treated fairly and respectfully. I tell them that serving in the military doesn’t turn a woman into a victim.”

She sounds like the kind of Marine Corps captain this country needs.

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