First Advisor

Maura Kelly

Term of Graduation

Fall 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology






Sexual harassment in the military -- United States, Women veterans -- United States, Rape in the military -- United States, Sexual abuse victims -- Services for -- Sex differences, Veterans -- Services for -- Sex differences



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 137 pages)


This three-paper dissertation examines pervasive gender inequalities across two institutions: the US military and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The first paper, "'Don't Rock the Boat:' Experiences and Perceptions of Gender-Based Violence in the U.S. Military" uses qualitative interviews to better understand the experiences of gendered harassment and violence of women veterans in the US military. The second paper, "First Do No Harm: Assessing Veterans Affairs Screening for Military Sexual Abuse among our Nations Veterans" uses survey data and qualitative interviews to identify factors that contribute to inaccurate results of clinical screening for veterans with military sexual violence histories within the Veteran Health Administration. The third paper, "Battle for Benefits: Gender Bias and VA Disability Award" uses survey data to highlight gender disparities in access to VA benefits and entitlement associated with self-reported military duty hazardous exposures. In sum, this dissertation examines the ways in which women veterans are "outsiders within" the "inequality regimes" of these organizations, and concludes with a discussion of key findings across all three papers with an explicit call to action.


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Persistent Identifier