WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that sexual assaults are a threat to both women and men in uniform and that the Pentagon must do more to fight a culture that discourages victims from reporting assaults.

Reports of sexual assaults by members of the military rose 50 percent after the Pentagon began a vigorous campaign to get more victims to come forward, according to the Pentagon’s annual report on sexual assaults, released Thursday.

Hagel said he is ordering six new initiatives, including efforts to get more male victims to come forward and a review of alcohol sales and policies.

He also said the review must address the risks of alcohol being used as a weapon by predators.

Final data obtained by The Associated Press show that about 14 percent of the reports filed last year involved male victims.

Defense officials said Wednesday that encouraging more men to report sexual assaults is a difficult challenge because male victims often worry that it will make people think they are weak and trigger questions about their sexual orientation. In most cases, however, sexual orientation has nothing to do with the assault and it’s more an issue of power or abuse.

“There is still a misperception that this is a women’s issue and women’s crime,” said Nate Galbreath, the senior executive adviser for the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention office.

“It’s disheartening that we have such a differential between the genders and how they are choosing to report.”