By Force of Arms: Rape, War, and Military Culture

TitleBy Force of Arms: Rape, War, and Military Culture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsMorris, Madeline
JournalDuke Law Journal
Date Published02/1996

Frequently throughout the history of warfare, widespread rape has been associated with war. It has been alleged in recent years that rape and sexual assault by military personnel in peacetime also constitute problems of substantial magnitude. This article seeks to examine the relationships between sexual assault, combat, and military organizations. Toward that end, the article first compares military rape rates with civilian rates in peace, as well as in war. In the light of those crime-rate comparisons, the article then offers policy analyses and proposals with a view to reducing the incidence of rape by military personnel. The research conducted for this article indicates that the peacetime rates of rape by American military personnel are actually lower than civilian rates. However, the data also indicates that peacetime military rape rates are diminished from civilian rates far less than are military rates of other violent crime. Thus, in both the wartime and peacetime contexts studied, the ratio of military rape rates to civilian rape rates is substantially larger than the ratio of military rates to civilian rates of other violent crime.

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