Students at U.S. military academies often feel they have to tolerate sexist and offensive behavior, a new Pentagon report due to be published on Friday has found.
The report looks at sexual assaults at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., reports the AP.
While it found that the overall reported cases of sexual assaults at the academies had gone down in the last school year—from 80 to 70—it identified sports and club teams as problem areas.
There have been incidences both at West Point and at the Air Force of documents or emails circulating that were derogatory to women. The Naval academy’s football team has been under scrutiny for allegations of sexual assault by three team members involving a female student. Charges against one individual have been dropped.
Defense officials said on Thursday that students at the academies see sexual assault and crude behavior as an almost accepted part of their academy experience. Victims also feel peer pressure not to report incidents. Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., the superintended at West Point, told AP that training needed to encourage cadets to find the moral courage to stand up to such behavior.