“From interviewing hundreds of rape and sexual assault survivors, both male and female, there’s a persistent pattern by the military in essentially even refusing to accept the allegation, where the chain of command basically says, ‘We are not going to even report this.’ And that is much more prevalent with the male victims,” Burke said. “What I’ve seen time and time again: a male who comes forward to report rape and sexual assault is accused of being a homosexual.”
But according to Dr. Loree Sutton, a psychiatrist and retired Army brigadier general, rapes are not about sex but are instead fueled by aggression and domination. The crime is almost an animalistic demonstration that the predator “owns” the prey. Many male-on-male rapes in the military are group attacks. Some involve drugging the victims.
“It’s not about gay sex. Typically the predators are heterosexual men who have this need to assert power, control and dominance,” Sutton said. “It’s similar to the dynamics of what happens with incest — those family bonds, the trust, the loyalty. I mean, in the military, loyalty becomes this huge factor and that is so difficult for men and women to sort out.”