CE: Military Sexual Trauma in Male Service Members

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Abstract

The experience of military sexual trauma (MST), which can result from assault, battery, or harassment of a sexual nature, may jeopardize the mental health of service members as well as that of their family members, colleagues, and community members. Although a greater proportion of female than male service members are subjected to MST, the Department of Defense estimates that the absolute numbers of affected men and women, across all ranks and branches of military service, are nearly equal because roughly 85% of military members are men. Little research has explored the effects of MST on men. This article discusses the unique ways in which men may experience MST, and examines how social stereotypes of masculinity, myths surrounding sexual assault, and military culture and structure often influence a man's interpretation of an attack and his likelihood of reporting the incident or seeking treatment. It describes current treatments for MST-related mental health conditions and addresses implications for nurses and other health care professionals.

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