It's no secret that women in the military face ample sexism. But now an official Pentagon report admits that sexism is a part of military academy culture. In the report, female students at U.S. military academies testify to a school-wide atmosphere of disrespect toward women that fuels sexual harassment and sexual assaults, the Associated Press reports. Military officials told AP they're working on ways to encourage students to "take action" when they know this activity is taking place.
The Pentagon's annual report is a joint effort from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy. This year's report — coming in the wake of several high-profile incidences of assault by military academy athletes — highlighted sexism in school sports and club teams.
"There were people within the organization that became desensitized to the degradation of respect," West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr. said in an AP interview. "But there were also people in the organization that recognized it as being wrong and elected not to do anything."
One bright spot in the 2014 report — maybe: Sexual assaults were down, from 80 to 70 during the school year that ended May 2013. But defense officials told AP it difficult to tell whether this was because there were fewer assaults or because victims didn't want to come forward.