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Sexual Assault Against Female in the Military

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Sexual assault against female in the military

Name:

School:

The power dynamics model is one that integrates the aspects of the power being utilized, the leader’s potential energy and the power that has already been mastered within the context of leadership. According to the theory, the potential power available to the leader emanates from the two-dimensional co-existence perpetuated among the people relating with one another. The theory maintains the position that, a person’s aggregate power is evident from their ability to influence the conduct of the others, especially the led. According to the theory, the sources of energy include authority, which legitimizes the control of one individual, over another or others, due to the nature of their social structure. In some settings, power is exercised in a downwards or upwards style. In the case of a military situation, power is used to a downwards form (Younts & Mueller, 2001). The theory also emphasizes the necessity of some level of coercion, which is legitimized, legalized and viewed as force or influence. In the case of the military situation, the DOD reported that more than 25,000 crimes of a sexual nature were committed by the members of the U.S army (Department of Defense, 2012). Despite the fact that military structures are known to boast of integrity and extreme discipline, the power structure appears to perpetuate a culture of sexual abuse. Based on the theoretical outlook of the power dynamics theory, the perpetuation of sexual violence against women in the military, can be expressed with reference to the accordance of high power credits to men, as compared to their female counterparts (Sharp, 2010). The consequences of having the hyper-masculine outlook in force include that it creates a social environment where the practices and the attitudes of the military, in general normalizes the ill of female sexual assault. Using the theory of power dynamics, it is also possible to explain the abuse of women in the military as a consequence of the informal and also the formal observances that persist within military surroundings and situations. In the army, the superiority of an officer is a significant influence on their power, their obedience and their capacity to challenge the status quo established over the years or months. From the application of the theory to the situation of the military, the potential power of a superior officer emanates from their potential to influence the developmental course of an inferior officer. In such a case, the two-dimensional co-existence between the two officers is one, which is totally based on obedience and pleasing the superior. This is done so as to get the credits that can enable them to climb the ranks. In such a situation, if the inferior officer is female, a rape attempt is only viewed as another opportunity to please the superior, so as to move up the ladder faster (DOD, 2012).
The power dynamics theory accounts for the sexually abusive behaviors of the members of the military because it accounted for the dominance, violent manipulation and aggression expressed by inferior officers. Based on the theory’s view that a person’s level of power is determined by their ability to influence another, it is possible to claim that a superior in the military will command total influence on an inferior. Due to the unchecked influence of superiors in the army, it becomes uncontrollably irrefutable to reject the sexual advances they make, due to their unquestionable influence and control over the future of the inferior’s career. In explaining the high levels of sexual assault found among the military, the theory took into account the dependent nature on one side with the views of the author. The dependence is based on the coexistence-based balance found in all power relations. The second area taken into account was the aggregation of authority to the levels of influence and the structured nature of the body model of the military.
The information not explained about the sexual assault exercised against women in the army includes the formal and also the informal workings of the military. For example, due to the structured nature of the power systems of the military, less than 302 of the total 25,000 plus cases were prosecuted (DOD, 2012). Further, due to the lack of legal support for the abuse exercised against the female members of the crime, the reporting rates were also adversely low, and this was not accommodated by the theory (Gee, 2011). For example, by failing to account for mediating conditions and factors, the theory could not explain the low levels of disclosure and reporting. The resolution strategies that can be used to address the problem of sexual assault against female members of the military include, improving the representation of women, to a level that accords the two genders, equal opportunity. Secondly, the military can adopt a reporting system where an inferior can report sexual abuse to the second-level superior, so as to override the biases of the immediate boss (Hagel, 2013). The strengths of the theory, in relation to its applicability to the case include that it explained the ways in which the female military officers disregard the costs of assault, after maximizing the value of the rewards of pleasing their superiors. The second strength is that it simplified the factors underlying the ever-increasing levels of sexual assault, and also the costs and rewards of social systems (Younts & Mueller, 2001). The weakness of the theory, in its application to the situation, included that it neglected the cultural contexts surrounding the abuse and assault of the female officers. The second weakness was that it disregarded the social and financial exchange used to foster the aggression and to keep it hidden (Younts & Mueller, 2001).

References
Department of Defense. (2012). Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. Washington, D.C.: Pentagon.
Gee, T. (2011). Counter Power Making Change Happen. Oxford: New Internationalist.
Hagel, C. (2013). Memorandum August 2013: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. Washington, D.C.: Pentagon.
Sharp, G. (2010). From dictatorship to democracy: A conceptual framework for liberation (PDF) (4th U.S. Ed.). East Boston, MA: The Albert Einstein Institution.
Younts, W., & Mueller, C. (2001). Justice Processes: Specifying the Mediating Role of Perceptions of Distributive Justice. American Sociological Review, 66, 125-144.

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