Military Sexual Trauma in Men : A Review of Reported Rates

Military sexual trauma (MST) has historically been associated with female service members, but it is also experienced by male service members. This article reviews reported prevalence and incidence rates of men’s MST in 29 studies. Sources for these studies included the Department of Defense, the U.S. military service academies, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. There is significant variability in reported rates of men’s MST. Averaging across studies covering the past 30 years, we found that MST is reported by approximately 0.09% of male service members each year, with a range of 0.02% to 6%. MST is reported by 1.1% of male service members over the course of their military careers, with a range of 0.03% to 12.4%. Determining prevalence and incidence rates for both men’s and women’s MST is fraught with limitations, including (a) cross-study variations in sample, method, definitions, and assessment and (b) barriers to reporting MST. Each of these limitations is reviewed with an eye toward identifying male-specific issues.