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SV against men

Invisible Victims? Where are Male Victims of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in International Law and Policy?


Gorris, Ellen Anna Philo. 2015. “Invisible Victims? Where are Male Victims of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in International Law and Policy?” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 412-427. 

Author: Ellen Anna Philo Gorris


In this article the author argues that men and boys have been historically and structurally rendered an invisible group of victims in international human rights and policy responses towards conflict-related sexual violence stemming from the United Nations. The apparent female-focused approach of instruments on sexual violence is criticized followed by a discussion – through analysis and interviews with legal scholars and champions for the recognition of male survivors’ experiences – of the first ‘emergence’ of male victims in these instruments and key actors involved in this process. The existing serious dichotomy between visible and invisible victims is prominently based on their ‘gender identity’ and leads to structural discrimination of male victims of rape or other forms of sexual violence. To overcome this situation and develop more inclusive instruments, a reconceptualization is needed of the meaning and use of words like ‘gender’ and ‘gender-based violence’. Additionally, a more intersectional approach to sexual violence should be adopted, understanding that victims have a multitude of identities such as ethnicity or religious affiliation that make them particularly vulnerable to suffering.

Keywords: sexual violence, male victims, human rights, conflict, gender, intersectionality, women, women, peace, and Security

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Men, Boys, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, intersectionality, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, Sexual Violence, SV against men

Year: 2015

Locating “Queer” in Contemporary Writing of Love and War in Nigeria


Munro, Brenna. 2016. “Locating ‘Queer’ in Contemporary Writing of Love and War in Nigeria.” Research in African Literatures 47 (2): 121–38.

Author: Brenna Munro


The child soldier novel is not usually read in terms of sexuality; however, sexual trauma, sex between men and boys, and the production of damaged masculinities are central to representations of the boy soldier in contem- porary writing about war from Nigeria, including Chris Abani’s Song for Night (2007), Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation (2005), and Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2006). The queer gures of the perverse adult military man and the violated and violating boy soldier emerge in complex relation to contemporary representations of the Nigerian gay man—and all of these texts negotiate the politics of sex and race across multiple reading publics. Jude Dibia’s gay character Adrian in Walking with Shadows (2005) asserts legibility and respectability in sharp contrast to the queer subjectivi- ties of war writing, for example, yet all of these texts dramatize negotiations with stigma as it circulates across representations of sexuality.


Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Men, Boys, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state armed groups, Race, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against men, Terrorism Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2016

Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature


Moore, Melinda W., and John R. Barner. 2017. “Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 35: 33-37.

Authors: Melinda W. Moore, John R. Barner


In civil and ethnic conflict, sexual minorities experience a heightened risk for war crimes such as sexual violence, torture, and death. As a result, sexual minorities remain an invisible population in armed conflict out of a need for safety. Further study of sexual minorities in conflict zones confronts matters of human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war. This article reviews the existing research on sexual minorities in conflict zones, examines the findings on human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war and violence on sexual minority populations, and reviews the barriers to effectiveness faced by intervention programs developed spe- cifically to aid post-conflict societies. The article concludes with a summary of findings within the literature and further considerations for research on aggression and violent behavior with sexual minority groups in conflict zones.

Keywords: violence, aggression, Sexual minorities, gender, war, armed conflict, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, War Crimes, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against men, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence

Year: 2017

Rape as a Weapon of War(riors): The Militarisation of Sexual Violence in the United States, 1990-2000


Cerretti, Josh. 2016. “Rape as a Weapon of War(riors): The Militarisation of Sexual Violence in the United States, 1990-2000.” Gender & History 28 (3): 794-812. 

Author: Josh Cerretti

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against men, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2016

Sexual Trauma and Adverse Health and Occupational Outcomes Among Men Serving in the U.S. Military


Millegan, Jeffrey, Lawrence Wang, Cynthia A. LeardMann, Derek Miletich, and Amy E. Street. 2016. “Sexual Trauma and Adverse Health and Occupational Outcomes Among Men Serving in the U.S. Military.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 29 (2): 132–40. doi:10.1002/jts.22081.

Authors: Cynthia A. LeardMann, Derek Miletich, Jeffrey Millegan, Amy E. Street, Lawrence Wang


Although absolute counts of U.S. service men who experience sexual trauma are comparable to service women, little is known about the impact of sexual trauma on men. The association of recent sexual trauma (last 3 years) with health and occupational outcomes was investigated using longitudinal data (2004–2013) from the Millennium Cohort Study. Of 37,711 service men, 391 (1.0%) reported recent sexual harassment and 76 (0.2%) sexual assault. In multivariable models, sexual harassment or assault, respectively, was associated with poorer mental health: AOR = 1.60, 95% CI [1.22, 2.12], AOR = 4.39, 95% CI [2.40, 8.05]; posttraumatic stress disorder: AOR = 2.50, 95% CI [1.87, 3.33], AOR = 6.63, 95% CI [3.65, 12.06]; depression: AOR = 2.37, 95% CI [1.69, 3.33], AOR = 5.60, 95% CI [2.83, 11.09]; and multiple physical symptoms: AOR = 2.22, 95% CI [1.69, 2.92]; AOR = 3.57, 95% CI [1.98, 6.42], after adjustment for relevant covariates. Sexual harassment was also associated with poorer physical health: AOR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.27, 2.22]. Men who reported sexual trauma were more likely to have left military service: AOR = 1.60, 95% CI [1.14, 2.24], and be disabled/unemployed postservice: AOR = 1.76, 95% CI [1.02, 3.02]. Results suggest that sexual trauma was significantly associated with adverse health and functionality extending to postmilitary life. Findings support the need for developing better prevention strategies and services to reduce the burden of sexual trauma on service men.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Male Combatants, Men, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, SV against men Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2016

Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey


Randall, Amy E. 2015. Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Author: Amy E. Randall


Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century brings together a collection of some of the finest genocide studies scholars in North America and Europe to examine gendered discourses, practices and experiences of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the 20th century. It includes essays focusing on the genocide in Rwanda, the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing and genocide in the former Yugoslavia.
The book looks at how historically- and culturally-specific ideas about reproduction, biology, and ethnic, national, racial and religious identity contributed to the possibility for and the unfolding of genocidal sexual violence, including mass rape. The book also considers how these ideas, in conjunction with discourses of femininity and masculinity, and understandings of female and male identities, contributed to perpetrators' tools and strategies for ethnic cleansing and genocide, as well as victims' experiences of these processes. This is an ideal text for any student looking to further understand the crucial topic of gender in genocide studies.
(Bloomsbury Academic)

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Genocide, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against men Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Europe, Balkans, South Caucasus Countries: Armenia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2015

Making Race, Making Sex


Briggs, Laura. 2015. “Making Race, Making Sex.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (1): 20–39. doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.855089.

Author: Laura Briggs


This article is interested in how biomedicine, psychology, and anthropology have produced the rape-able, violable Arab body that need not be the subject of law, national or international. In the 1970s, feminists argued that violence produced gender, that rape and the threat of rape made “women” as a social category, abuse-able and inferior. In the 1980s and beyond, feminist science studies has shown how science makes sex, gender and race, at the level of constructing the basic categories. This article argues that we can extend these feminist theoretical insights to explore the ways that torture is itself a science that racializes, that produces and relies on a notion of Arab-Muslim masculinity as distinct from that enacted in “the West,” a region that is produced alongside a Muslim “Orient.”

Keywords: Abu Ghraib, torture, feminism, rape

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against men, Terrorism, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2015

Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers


Grey, Rosemary. 2014. “Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (4): 601–21. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.955964.

Author: Rosemary Grey


In addition to participating in hostilities, girl soldiers are often raped, sexually enslaved and used as “bush wives” by their commanders and fellow soldiers. As this issue of sexual violence against girl soldiers has become increasingly visible in recent cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), attempts have been made to prosecute this conduct within the established framework of international criminal law. Most recently, this issue has been addressed in the case of The Prosecutor v Bosco Ntaganda, one of the six cases that have come before the ICC from the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 9 June 2014, the Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed the charges in the Ntaganda case, and found that the rape and sexual slavery of girl soldiers in Ntaganda's armed group by other members of that group could constitute war crimes under Article 8(2)(e)(vi) of the Rome Statute. This article considers what the Ntaganda decision adds to the jurisprudence on sexual violence against child soldiers, and what it demonstrates about the limits of the law.

Keywords: sexual violence, child soldiers, war crimes, international criminal court, Ntaganda case

Topics: Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, International Criminal Law, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rape, SV against men Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence, and Subjectivity in India's Naxalbari Movement


Roy, Srila. 2012. Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence, and Subjectivity in India's Naxalbari Movement. Oxford University Press.

Author: Srila Roy


This book explores the production of cultural memory in relation to women's involvement in the late 1960s' radical Naxalbari movement of West Bengal. It draws on historiographic, popular, and personal memoirs to examine the consultation of the memory of this movement principally in terms of gender, violence, and subjectivity. The author explores how memories of Naxalbari are culturally produced, received, and contested, and how they implicate the work of gendered identity at the interface of personal narratives and wider culturally mediated ones. The book is based on extensive field data, and also draws from party texts, fiction, poetry, film memoirs, and activist writing (both Bengali and English). Along with its examination of sexual violence as part of political violence, it also reflects on how women are implicated by and negotiate different types of violence. (Oxford University Press)

Keywords: social sciences, sociology, comparative & historical sociology

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, SV against men, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2012

Sexual Torture of Palestinian Men by Israeli Authorities


Weishut, Daniel J. N. 2015. “Sexual Torture of Palestinian Men by Israeli Authorities.” Reproductive Health Matters 23 (46): 71–84. doi:10.1016/j.rhm.2015.11.019.

Author: Daniel J. N. Weishut


In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arrests and imprisonment of Palestinian men in their early adulthood are common practice. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) collected thousands of testimonies of Palestinian men allegedly tortured or ill-treated by Israeli authorities. There are many types of torture, sexual torture being one of them. This study is based on the PCATI database during 2005-2012, which contains 60 cases – 4% of all files in this period – with testimonies of alleged sexual torture or ill-treatment. It is a first in the investigation of torture and ill-treatment of a sexual nature, allegedly carried out by Israeli security authorities on Palestinian men. Findings show that sexual ill-treatment is systemic, with 36 reports of verbal sexual harassment, either directed toward Palestinian men and boys or toward family members, and 35 reports of forced nudity. Moreover, there are six testimonies of Israeli officials involved in physical sexual assault of arrested or imprisoned Palestinian men. Physical assault in most cases concerned pressing and/or kicking the genitals, while one testimony pertained to simulated rape, and another described an actual rape by means of a blunt object. The article provides illustrations of the various types of sexual torture and ill-treatment of boys and men in the light of existing literature, and recommendations. 

Keywords: sexual violence, torture, human rights, Israel, Palestinian

Topics: Gender, Men, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against men, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2015


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