Position Consolidation: The Role of Culture in Military Sexual Assault

Srimayi L -

Hello everyone! As I mentioned in my last post, I will now discuss some of the remaining trends I observed from my data that are connected to the culture of the countries. 

As I mentioned before, there is something called basic pay that all personnel receive which consists of the majority of their salary. However, the amount of basic pay that each country gives is inaccessible, so I looked at the salaries of a certain officer position in the military for each country in order to still provide a comparison. The position that I chose is that of a private (OR-3). I collected the basic annual pays that this rank receives at minimum excluding all additional allowances, bonuses, and benefits and converting if necessary the amounts into U.S. dollars. The western countries all gave private salaries of between approximately $20,000 to $40,000 per year. On the other hand, the eastern countries’ private rank salaries were much more spread out on the spectrum. The eastern countries’ military pays were harder to find, and the private rank is not present for some of the countries for which I found a similar ranking position’s salary. The countries part of the lower side of this spectrum were Taiwan, South Korea, and India with annual pays of $8,172 to $8,683.56, $5,708.88 to $7,136.16, and $748.68 to $2,908.56 respectively. Meanwhile, Israel gave $121,558 per year, and Japan gave $48,397 per year. However, these were averages for active-duty officers in these nations’ militaries due to the private rank pay being unavailable. 

For the gender component, both the western and eastern countries received more female reports of experiencing sexual trauma than male reports as anticipated. However, there were some exceptions with Germany, Australia, and India. Germany and India didn’t have these reports available, while Australia had an output different from the rest of the data with more male sexual abuse cases than female cases but still more female cases for sexual harrasment. Another note was that the western countries had data on both males and females, while the eastern countries primarily focused on female reports. South Korea had only received female reports and no reports from men, and Israel only reported the female cases’ rate. With Japan, although there was no specific rates present, they reported the specific cases of sexual trauma that had occurred which primarily consisted of male perpetrators. Military personnel that are part of the LGBTQ community also have a significant reporting rate for military sexual trauma, but these reports are very limited for countries in the east and also in the west with most data coming from the U.S.A.

Regarding the cultures of the east and west, it first is important to understand what these terms indicate. According to the World Population Review, the Western world is characterized by primarily Europe and cultures highly influenced by European values and have populations with many European descendants, while the East signifies countries strictly in the Eastern Hemisphere of the world (2023). Both of these cultures can be compared in various aspects, but the most distinct characteristics between the two lies within their ideologies (Liu 2003). These distinctions come into effect in regards to sexual violence. For instance, women in cultures that follow patriarchal ideals are more likely to experience sexual assault (Kalra and Bhugra 2013). Therefore, certain cultural differences can affect the occurrence of military sexual assault and the reporting rate of the crime. This aspect will be discussed more in my next post in which I will also expand on the mental health effects of the issue of military sexual assault and the cultural differences between the east and west that affect the reporting of this crime.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

– Srimayi

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