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Culture blamed for abuse of women at military schools

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WASHINGTON, Aug 26, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A U.S. Pentagon task force has blamed the abuse of women at military schools to a culture that devalues the role of women in uniform.

"When women are devalued, the likelihood of harassing and even abusive behavior increases," USA Today reported Friday, quoting the task force, made of 12 military officers and civilian experts.

The panel, which reviewed Army and Navy academies on orders from Congress, recommended wide-ranging reforms from better admissions screening to revamping antiquated military rape laws.

Congress ordered the review after a 2003 investigation at the Air Force academy found sexual assault "a part of life" for cadets, the newspaper said.

The task force praised Army and Navy officials for taking the issue seriously but said more needed to be done.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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