Peacekeepers, Masculinities, and Sexual Exploitation

Citation:

Higate, Paul. 2007. “Peacekeepers, Masculinities, and Sexual Exploitation.” Men and Masculinities 10 (1): 99–119. doi:10.1177/1097184X06291896.

Author: Paul Higate

Abstract:

My aim in this article is to analyze a set of gendered power relations played out in two postconflict settings. Based on interviews with peacekeepers and others, I argue that sexual exploitation of local women by male peacekeepers continues to be documented. I then turn to scholarly considerations of peacekeeper sexual exploitation, some of which accord excessive explanatory power to a crude form of military masculinity. This is underlined by similarly exploitative activities perpetrated by humanitarian workers and so-called "sex tourists." In conclusion, I argue that a form of exploitative social masculinities shaped by socioeconomic structure, impunity, and privilege offers a more appropriate way to capture the activities of some male peacekeepers during peacekeeping missions. Finally, in underlining the conflation of military masculinities with exploitation, I pose the question of how to explain those military men who do not exploit local women while deployed on missions.

Keywords: gendered power relations, male peacekeepers, military masculinities, exploitative social masculinities

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone

Year: 2007

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