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Changes in Perception of Gender Roles: Returned Migrants


Khalid, Ruhi. 2011. "Changes in Perception of Gender Roles: Returned Migrants." Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 9: 16-20.

Author: Ruhi Khalid


This study explored how migration influenced gender role perceptions. A comparison of returned migrants with non-migrants was made to see the effects of migration-repatriation. Sample of 120 men and women returned migrants were interviewed and Islamic Attitude towards Women Scale (Khalid & Freiz, 2004) was administered.  T-test results showed significant differences in attitude towards gender roles.  Changes in the returned migrant groups were also related to a number of demographic factors. Results also suggested that returned migrant men and women either take on new patterns of behavior or maintain the traditional ones only when these are congruent with financial concerns of the family or can be integrated into living conditions in Pakistan upon return.


Keywords: migration, gender roles, gender transformation, returned migrants


  • Khalid argues that the way in which gender roles are perceived in Pakistan has changed as a result of urbanization, industrialization, migration, and exposure to other cultures, among other factors. She focuses on the experience of Pakistanis who have migrated to the UK, a culture that more openly embraces gender equality, and have later returned to Pakistan. She questions whether these returned migrants, having been exposed to both Pakistani and British culture, embrace the culture of the UK by becoming more egalitarian or reject it by becoming more conservative.
  • In her study, Khalid formulates five hypotheses assessing the correlation between migration and perception of gender roles among Pakistanis, focusing largely on their attitudes toward household and childcare responsibilities. She samples 120 married Pakistanis who have moved to the UK and then back to Pakistan afterwards, as well as non-migrant Pakistanis. Ultimately, she concludes that the majority of returned migrants have become more egalitarian in their perceptions of gender roles.
  • After presenting her data, Khalid confirms each of the five hypotheses. She concludes that: a) there were significant differences in gender role beliefs between the returned migrant and non-migrant groups, b) the non-migrant group held more conservative attitudes toward gender roles than the returned migrant group, and c) women in both groups held more egalitarian beliefs than men. Her findings illuminate the impact of acculturation on the perception of individuals. It also sheds light on the influence of Islam on attitudes toward gender.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2011

Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military


Belkin, Aaron. 2008. "Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military." Radical History Review, no. 100, 180-85.

Author: Aaron Belkin

Keywords: military, rape, masculinity


  • Belkin discusses the meaning of militarization, and how it is essential both for American citizens and international allies to view the army as a force for good that also represents an idealized form of masculinity. In order to maintain this image, the U.S. military covers up and naturalizes such occurrences as male-male rape in the armed forces. One of the ways in which this naturalization takes place is through connecting stigmatized outsiders such as homosexuals with these instances of rape, and portraying these outsiders as the perpetrators when in reality they are usually the victims. Belkin offers a critique of LGBT activists’ strategy of staying silent in reaction to the problem of male-male rape in the U.S. military.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Men, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

Private Military Security Companies and the Problem of Men and Masculinities


Higate, Paul. 2009. "Private Military Security Companies and the Problem of Men and Masculinities." Paper presented at the 50th Annual Conference of the International Studies Association, New York, February 15-18.

Author: Paul Higate


Though there is little new in the existence of guns for hire or mercenaries for more critically inclined commentators, few predicted the extent to which private military contractors would come to both supplant and complement the activities of regular military personnel in the contemporary period. The occupation of Iraq puts this into sharpest focus with the number of private military contractors estimated to be close to 200,000 in comparison to the 160,000 uniformed personnel of national militaries occupying the country (Scahill, 2007). The dramatic burgeoning of the private security sector has led commentators to describe it as the new business face of warfare in the contemporary period (Mandel, 2002; Avant, 2005; Kinsey, 2007; Singer, 2005) underscoring its significance both now and almost certainly into the future. Drawing on the labour of men (and rather less women) from a range of countries (Maclellan, 2006), this multi billion dollar industry has become a key component in the management of conflict and its aftermath (Holmqvist, 2005).

Private Military Security Companies (PMSCs) should be seen as a critical subject of political enquiry as they engage international relations, domestic politics and national/international legislative systems within the context of both ethical and moral questions concerning the use of violence. Companies are involved in: the security of convoys, close protection of dignitaries, security sector reform, provision of logistical and support functions to military peacekeeping operations and combat operations.
Curiously, however, scholars working within the fields of Political Science, Critical Security Studies, Law and Gender Studies have almost entirely overlooked the importance of masculinity in their analyses of this sector (for a focus on women see Schultz and Yeung, 2005). What do we miss when masculinity is ignored in analyses of PMSCs? It is not simply that PMSCs have become increasingly important to how conflict is managed, but crucially - in contrast to regular military - their activities remain largely unregulated and their personnel almost entirely unaccountable. When seen alongside the perpetration of human rights abuses by a not insignificant number of private military contractors - including most notoriously the shooting of 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Najaf in September 2007 (Tavernise, 2007), it is possible to suggest that PMSCs represent a key moment of (re)masculinisation in the contemporary period. It is for this reason that the curiosity of gender scholars should be sparked since the mobilisation thousands of men trained in violence who go on to work in spaces of legal exception is a unique phenomena that can, at times, exacerbate the insecurity of those vulnerable populations forced to host them.

There are few if any arenas that demonstrate the potent connections between violence, power and sex in the “post 9/11 manly moment” (Eisenstein, 2007: 161) as explicitly as those that concern the largely unregulated privatisation of force. Through suggesting future lines of inquiry around a unique and vibrant site of (militarised) masculinities that constitute the employee component of the PMSC sector, this article hopes to lay the foundations for a research agenda that recognises the centrality of masculinities to both the personal and professional social practices of its male employees. Depending on one’s normative intentions, findings from these kinds of inquiry can be used to argue for tighter regulation of the industry, or in a more radical sense, to its incremental dissolution. My own position though somewhat unlikely in the current period of neo-liberal and U.S.-driven geo-political dominance - is to argue that PMSC involvement in direct combat and combat support should be outlawed. Reasons for this are numerous but include primarily the ways that mercenary assistance means that the use of force continues to be prioritised as a decisive means of bringing war to an end as opposed to developing less bloody forms of conflict resolution (Richards, undated: 1). Not only does co-opting the profit motive into security work of this kind shape the conditions of possibility by which conflict is negotiated, but in a related sense, assumes an immanent logic that is difficult to break from. The quest for a peaceful world is harmed by increasing the number of private military contractors who remain outside the regulatory mechanisms of state military who in relative terms have constrained the actions of men of violence over many decades. How might we begin to challenge this creeping militarization?

Keywords: private security, masculinity

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Peacekeeping, Security, Security Sector Reform Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2009

'Mercenary Masculinities' Imagine Security: The Case of the Private Military Contractor


Higate, Paul. 2014. 'Mercenary Masculinities' Imagine Security: The Case of the Private Military Contractor. Bristol, UK: Economic and Social Research Council.

Author: Paul Higate

Keywords: masculinity, private security

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security

Year: 2014

The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development


Bannon, Ian, & Maria Correia. 2006. The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.

Authors: Ian Bannon, Maria Correia


This book is an attempt to bring the gender and development debate full circle-from a much-needed focus on empowering women to a more comprehensive gender framework that considers gender as a system that affects both women and men. The chapters in this book explore definitions of masculinity and male identities in a variety of social contexts, drawing from experiences in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on a slowly emerging realization that attaining the vision of gender equality will be difficult, if not impossible, without changing the ways in which masculinities are defined and acted upon. Although changing male gender norms will be a difficult and slow process, we must begin by understanding how versions of masculinities are defined and acted upon. (WorldCat)

Keywords: development, gender norms

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America

Year: 2006

Weapon of War

"In no other country has sexual violence matched the scale of brutality reached in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During nearly two decades of conflicts between rebels and government forces, an estimated 150,000 Congolese women and girls fell victim to mass rape. That figure continues to rise. 

Sex and the Sandinistas

"Nicaragua is known for the Sandinista Revolution, an inspiring struggle for national liberation. What has never been told before is the story of how homosexuals, in the teeth of a machista Roman Catholic culture, battled for their own space inside the Revolution. What really happened when the Sandinistas found their soldiers and revolutionary comrades falling in love with the wrong sex?


"In 1998, Managua, Nicaragua became host to one of the most publicized and controversial cases of sexual abuse to hit modern day Latin America. At the epicenter of the scandal stood none other than Nicaraguan Sandinista leader and ex-President Daniel Ortega. Revered as a revolutionary hero and symbol of military strength, Ortega was accused on multiple charges of rape and battery by his stepdaughter, Soilamerica Narvaez.

Gender Against Men

Ever Shot Anyone?


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