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The impact of leadership on sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military

Sadler AG, Lindsay DR, Hunter ST, Day DV. The impact of leadership on sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military. Military psychology : the official journal of the Division of Military Psychology, American Psychological Association. 2018 May 21; 252-263.

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Sexual harassment and assault are realities in the military. Recent reports indicate that these types of behaviors are not decreasing despite updated policies, better reporting procedures and increased resources. Leadership is offered as both an antecedent to and as a vehicle by which to address these destructive and criminal behaviors among the military ranks. A review of relevant leadership research is provided focused on unique aspects of the military that influence sexual violence, leader behaviors, and the full range leadership model. Through this review, recommendations are offered as to how the military can develop leaders to provide appropriate leadership at all levels to create the right climate in units to be resistant to sexual harassment and assault. Overall, the authors argue that leadership offers the greatest opportunity to prevent and reduce the consequences of sexual harassment and assault in the military, but that it must be integrated into intentional leader development and accountability efforts at both the organizational and individual level.

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