“Sex Signals” educates Airmen Published May 15, 2008 By Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon 18th Wing Public Affairs KADENA AB, Japan -- A humorous, yet realistic live performance show originally begun on college campuses to give a fresh, unique look at dating and sexual relationships was offered to base Airmen here, May 12-13. This program, called "Sex Signals," has branched out to military installations to educate service members about social relationships and address the issue of sexual assault. "It is more of a humor learning-based technique about gender stereotypes, dating, and the awkwardness of social relationships," said Ben Murrie, one of the presenters. "We also talk about the bad side of that and sexual assault prevention as well." Mr. Murrie and colleague Amber Kelley believe people do not understand rape. They redefine the stereotypical rape idea and expand the audience's vocabulary in reference to sex. Our improvised comedy is about where one's personal experience recalls a familiar situation of what is considered rape, said Miss Kelley. According to the statistics given by the presenters, 80 percent of the time, rape victims know their attacker. Also, alcohol frequently is a major factor. About 90 percent of the time either one or both people have been drinking. It made me more aware how rape from strangers is less common than someone you know is more common to be a rapist, Senior Airman Samuel Swenson, 18th Communications Squadron configuration management. "We talk a lot in the context of a male being the perpetrator and female, the victim," said Mr. Murrie. "We're not being stereotypical, but that's because it is the most commonly reported situation." Statistically, 99 percent of the time, the perpetrator is a man and in 90 percent of cases the victim is a woman, he added. "Rape is not about sex," said Miss Kelley. "It's more about power, control and the taking away of the decision from someone." "I wasn't aware of the percentage pertaining to females and how many occur," said Senior Airman Jennifer Coviello, 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineer technician. "It's very alarming." This situation happens with any gender dynamic and it's important to facilitate this type of training to effectively and positively change society, said Mr. Murrie. "As we perform before Airmen and Marines, I personally believe we're having a much larger effect talking to people that are more leadership-oriented," said Miss Kelley. "They are representing America, our ideals and our morals. Hopefully we can educate a group of people that will effect change socially." Their hope is to assure people are creating a higher moral standard to diminish sexual assault and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions regarding this social problem. "Ultimately, we're trying to get each person to show basic human respect for other people," said Mr. Murrie, "To build better unit cohesion and a positive society that represents human beings better." The show was held at the Rocker NCO club and sponsored by the 18th Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator's office.