Conflict & Justice

Sex and Power in the US Military


Helen Benedict, professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism (Photo: Soho Press)

Power and power differentials seemed to play a role in the consensual relationship at the heart of the Petraeus scandal.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

But they may also be a factor in the troubling incidence of sexual harassment and rape among our nation's armed forces.

Helen Benedict has spent a career looking at sexual assault and abuse in the military.

She's a professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism, and the author of "The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq."

Benedict says relationships in the US military are especially prone to abuse because of the huge power differentials in the chain of command.