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Following the widely publicized Tailhook incident, in which 26 women reported being sexually assaulted at a September 1991 gathering of Navy aviators, sexual harassment of military women has received significant attention. However, the problem of widespread sexual harassment in the military was not new, either to women in uniform of to Pentagon officials responsible for addressing it. This paper describes the extent of sexual harassment in the Armed Forces, and suggests reasons behind the problem, including laws restricting assignability of women and an inadequate system for redressing sexual harassment complaints. It also proposes reforms to reduce this form of sex discrimination in the military.

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