Jun 18, 2021
Researchers extended previous RAND analyses that produced estimates of sexual assault risk and sexual harassment risk across installations and commands. The results of these extended analyses showed considerable variation in the risk of sexual assault and sexual harassment across groups of soldiers, primarily among Army women—at installations, commands, and in career fields—and identified characteristics of groups in which risk level was higher.
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Extending previous RAND analyses, researchers found variation in total sexual assault risk—estimated prevalence of sexual assault—across groups of soldiers. For example, Army women at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, and several other bases face total sexual assault risk that is higher than the risk faced by the average woman in the Army.
Sexual harassment is more common than sexual assault, but the results also showed that risk of sexual harassment is highly associated with risk of sexual assault. Thus, bases with high sexual assault risk also have high sexual harassment risk.
One question is whether groups with higher risk estimates simply have soldiers assigned to them who are at higher risk because of their individual characteristics (e.g., younger, unmarried), or whether personnel in those groups would experience lower risk if stationed elsewhere. To evaluate this, researchers calculated adjusted risk: This measures how much higher or lower than expected the risk of sexual assault is for a group of soldiers. Army women at Fort Hood had an adjusted sexual assault risk of 1.7 percent during 2018, indicating that their risk was 1.7 percent higher than expected based on the characteristics of women assigned there.
Several characteristics were associated with different levels of adjusted risk for Army women's sexual assault and sexual harassment and for men's sexual harassment, including positive unit or supervisor climate (associated with lower risk) and deployment operational tempo (associated with higher risk). Army women in environments with higher proportions of combat arms have higher adjusted risk.
Approach to Estimating Sexual Assault Risk and Sexual Harassment Risk in the Army
Sexual Assault Risk Results
Sexual Harassment Risk Results
Discussion and Recommendations
Technical Modeling Details
Adjusted Installation Sexual Assault Risk from 2014 to 2018
All Risk Estimates for All Clusters
Classification of Career Management Fields