Perspective

Article excerpt

I served in the Navy, and I know from my experience that what I call "male entitlement dysfunction" is part of the culture. This is likely exacerbated by the fact that a large number of military men are so young (under age 26), and their capacity to be mature is probably limited by their underdeveloped frontal lobes.

I suspect that because sexual harassment and other inappropriate sexual behaviors are given a "wink," it is all the more difficult for the assaulted women to do as trauma researcher Dr. Judith L. Herman has recommended in order to recover from the trauma: reconstruct meaning, rebuild hope, and gain a sense of empowerment.

What is the interpretation of meaning to be if the offender is not punished? How does a woman regain hope if the culture supports male entitlement?

The core issues of trauma are the same whether the traumatic event is a natural or man-made disaster, and the general principles of recovery are the same. But gender-specific, culture-specific, and situation-specific factors have an impact on recovery. For example, being raped is fraught with "in your face" issues of gender and power. Thus, the treatment of and recovery from PTSD secondary to MST has to include the core features of healing from trauma and loss. …