Politics

Sen. Jeff Sessions Blames Porn for Military Sexual Assaults

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told the Senate Armed Services Committee that pornography available on military bases could be to blame for the startling number of sexual assaults on service members.

Sessions was part of the committee’s second panel. During the first panel, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., suggested given the “young folks coming in to each of your services” the “hormone level created by nature” could be to blame.

Sessions told the panel:

"Mr. Chairman, I’d just add a letter, a document here that was given to me from Morality in the Media. Pat Truman used to be in the Department of Justice. I knew him when he was there. He points out that, a picture here of a newsstand and an Air Force base exchange with, you know, sexually explicit magazines being sold. So, we live in a culture that’s awash in sexual activity. If it’s not sold on base, it’s right off base. There are videos and so forth that can be obtained, and it creates some problems, I think."

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However, there is little evidence that pornography makes men more sexually aggressive or that it leads to sexual violence.

Sessions did not return to his point on pornography, but went on to ask the panel a series of questions regarding what they would do given a particular military assault case.

On Tuesday, military witnesses told the committee they must maintain their power over their troops and want to set a standard of behavior themselves.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., are backing a bill that would strip a commander’s power to decide whether to send a case to court martial.

"In Israel, in the last five years, because they have adjudicated high-level cases you know what has increased by 80 percent?" Gillibrand said to military witnesses. "Reporting."

Sources: ThinkProgress, Atlantic