April 20, 2017

STATEMENT: Navy and Marine Corps Overlook Root Cause of Nude Photo Scandal

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington, DC – A revision to Navy regulations prohibits Navy and Marine Corps personnel from posting intimate photos that are “nonconsensual.”

“This regulation is only a few steps removed from political theater,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “While it’s encouraging to see some movement to address recent scandals of Marines sharing nonconsensual nude photos, the Navy and the Marine Corps are putting lipstick on a pig. The policy ignores the underlying systemic culture of sexual exploitation and objectification that runs rampant through all branches of the military.”

“If policy-makers want a military-wide solution to the systemic problem of sexual abuse, they must not address one isolated symptom at a time. Instead they must adopt a cohesive strategy to combat the culture of sexual exploitation and objectification. Meaningful actions the military could take include developing and enforcing a code prohibiting the patronizing of strip clubs, instituting mandatory training that addresses the harms of pornography consumption, developing and providing treatment programs for personnel struggling with sexually compulsive behaviors, and instituting routine audits and removal of pornography found on military computers, storage drives, work areas, and officer’s clubs across all branches of the armed services.”

“The reality is that military personnel (or anybody for that matter) cannot engage in sexually objectifying and exploitive behaviors toward women in one context (i.e., visiting strip clubs, viewing pornography) and then work alongside women in another context without it impacting their attitudes and behaviors. To end cyber-based and physical sexual harassment and assault of women in the military a comprehensive approach to addresses the full spectrum of sexual exploitation is essential.”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has proposed 16 specific policy solutions to address the issue of sexual exploitation in America, in what is entitled the Freedom from Sexploitation Agenda. Specific suggestions for the U.S. military are included. To learn more visit: sexploitationfreedomagenda.com.

Further Reading