Prostitution and the U.S. Military

 

Kara Dixon Vuic
Richmond Times-Dispath
May 9, 2012

Recent news that nine military personnel and 11 Secret Service agents allegedly solicited prostitutes in Columbia has sparked a congressional inquiry, institutional investigations and much speculation about how such an act might threaten presidential security. Were these men just a few bad apples? Maybe. But the American military has a long history of sanctioning prostitution, one that suggests much deeper concerns about its cultivation of a sexualized culture that can help to explain such an astonishingly brash act.

Although the Civil War’s Gen. Joseph Hooker is probably the most well-known military commander to officially sanction prostitution, he is certainly not alone. American military history is littered with officials who drew connections between a soldier’s sexual habits and his battlefield performance. As Gen. George Patton put it most famously (and perhaps most crassly), “if they don’t [blank], they don’t fight.”

To read the full article at the Richmand Times-Dispatch, click here.

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