Pentagon Sex Assault Survey Raises Doubts of Accuracy

A Pentagon-hired pollster asked a record half-million active-duty troops this year to fill out an Internet survey on sexual assault, prompting critics to say the upcoming results will be skewed to show a higher number of victims than actually exist.

In the past, the Pentagon had conducted its own survey, which found alarmingly high numbers as well as a much higher percentage of victims compared with the civilian world.

This year, the Defense Department Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) turned the polling over to the Rand Corp. It has made big changes in the way the Pentagon previously tried to capture the percentage of women who are victims of sexual assault, also defined as unwanted sexual contact.