By Pfc. Mardicio Barrot (USAG Red Cloud)November 24, 2010
CASEY GARRISON, South Korea - Soldiers from Warrior Country laughed as they learned about the do and don'ts of socializing with the opposite sex during annual "Sex Signals" training at the Casey Garrison Movie Theater Oct. 26.
Sex Signals, which is produced by Catharsis Productions, was started in 2000 by Gail Stern and Christian Murphy, who toured colleges across the United States to inform students about sexual awareness. The Army began offering the training to its Soldiers in 2008 after it was proven effective with university students.
The goal is to help Soldiers to make better decisions about their sexual behavior and encourage them to do something to prevent sexual assault within the ranks.
According to the Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Annual Report from fiscal year 2008, as many as 70 percent of female Soldiers who said they were sexually assaulted within the past year did not report it. The demographics also showed sexual assault victims to be 18-24 years old and in the rank of specialist and below. Alcohol was involved in 98 percent of the cases.
The Sex Signals class was different than the typical PowerPoint presentations Soldiers receive. It included a lot of off-color humor, but addressed serious issues Soldiers must understand and prevent. The information was presented via improvisational skits that gave Soldiers the opportunity to tell the instructors or actors what to do in certain situations when dealing with the opposite sex.
Some of the major topics covered were what men and women think about each other, initiating the conversation, getting consent before initiating any sexual contact, and misconceptions about how people tend to perceive rape.
The intent of the training was to stimulate sexual awareness within Warrior Country Soldiers that consent must be given before engaging in sexual activities or there will be negative consequences for the offender, as well as the victim. The training also informed them rape isn't just a woman attacked by a stranger in a dark alley; it can happen to anyone and can be committed by a person they may know well.
The Soldiers who participated generally enjoyed the Sex Signals class more than the typical training provided by the Army.
"This class was fun," said Spc. Jeffrey Sanders, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud. "Being in the environment of humor gave us, as Soldiers, the ability to want to get involved and want more classes."
For information about upcoming classes contact the local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Office at 730-3494 or 011-740-0479.