Ingrained Practices: Sexual Violence, Hypermasculinity, and Re-Mobilisation for Violent Conflict


Messerschmidt, Maike. 2018. "Ingrained Practices: Sexual Violence, Hypermasculinity, and Re-Mobilisation for Violent Conflict." Global Society  32 (4): 477-95.

Author: Maike Messerschmidt


This article theoretically illustrates the relationship between sexual violence in armed conflict, hypermasculinity, and the establishment of sustainable peace. Using a practice theoretical background and recent findings on socialisation and violence, I conceptualise sexual violence as a practice, hypermasculinity as a gender identity, and armed groups/forces as strongly socialising institutions. After demonstrating that the same gendered dynamics that lead to sexual violence within intrastate armed conflict evolve in prisons, I use criminological research to formulate expectations about the connection between sexual violence and the re-mobilisation of ex-combatants for renewed conflict: Sexual violence as an ingrained practice influences the gender identity and behaviour of ex-combatants, thus endangering peacebuilding endeavours. I demonstrate that there is evidence to claim that those tentative statements hold true and that further research on the connection of sexual violence and the establishment of sustainable peace could inform peacebuilding efforts.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2018

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