The War Against the Female Soldier? The Effects of Masculine Culture on Workplace Aggression


Koeszegi, Sabine T., Eva Zedlacher, and Rene Hudribusch. 2013. “The War Against the Female Soldier? The Effects of Masculine Culture on Workplace Aggression.” Armed Forces & Society 40 (February): 226-250.

Authors: Sabine T. Koeszegi, Eva Zedlacher, Rene Hudribusch


This study intends to analyze the relationship between military culture, masculine norms, attitude toward women, and workplace aggression. By using a paper-pencil survey in the Austrian Armed Forces, we show that overall 6.5 percent of all soldiers in the sample suffer from severe, long-term collective aggression (bullying). The detailed analysis suggests that systematic workplace aggression is associated with a culture with high power orientation and adherence to traditional (masculine) military norms. It occurs most often within socialization processes in training centers as well as in combat units. Conversely, culture in support units has high levels of task orientation with a comparably positive attitude toward female soldiers and less reported workplace aggression. The data reveal the gender dimension of workplace aggression in the Austrian Armed Forces: women are significantly more vulnerable to bullying. Almost every second soldier declares to have observed and every tenth soldier admits to have conducted aggressive acts against women.

Keywords: hypermasculinity, culture, workplace aggression, integration, military

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Austria

Year: 2013

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