SV against Men

Empire, Desire and Violence: A Queer Transnational Feminist Reading of the Prisoner ‘Abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the Question of ‘Gender Equality'


Richter-Montpetit, Melanie. 2007. “Empire, Desire and Violence: A Queer Transnational Feminist Reading of the Prisoner ‘Abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the Question of ‘Gender Equality.’” International Feminist Journal of Politics 9 (1): 38-59.

Author: Melanie Richter-Montpetit


Dominant discourses in the United States paint the acts of prisoner 'abuse' committed by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib in 2003 as either the obscene but exceptional example of some low-ranking soldiers gone mad, or as the direct result of the suspension of the rule of law in the global 'war on terror'. Alternatively, feminist theorist Barbara Ehrenreich suggests that the pictures depicting female soldiers torturing prisoners are both horrifying and a sign of 'gender equality'. This article departs from all three of these positions. I argue that the micro-level violences shown in the Abu Ghraib pictures are neither just aberrations nor a sign of gender equality. Rather they follow a pre-constructed heterosexed, racialized and gendered script that is firmly grounded in the colonial desires and practices of the larger social order and that underpins the hegemonic 'save civilization itself'-fantasy of the 'war on terror'. I explore how the participation of some of the US Empire's internal Others, namely White western women, may disrupt some of the social processes of normalization underpinning this colonial fantasy, but nevertheless serves to re/produce the identity and hegemony of the US Empire and its heterosexed, racialized and classed World (Dis)Order.

Keywords: Abu Ghraib, civilization, colonial, desires, Ehrenreich, empire, fantasy, gender equality, militarized masculinity, orientalism, US, 'Whiteness'

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Race, Sexual Violence, Female Perpetrators, SV against Men, Violence

Year: 2007

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

Sexual violence against men in countries affected by armed conflict


Solangon, Sarah, and Preeti Patel. 2012. "Sexual violence against men in countries affected by armed conflict." Conflict, Security & Development 12 (4): 417-42. doi:10.1080/14678802.2012.724794.

Authors: Sarah Solangon, Preeti Patel


Sexual violence against men in armed conflict has been documented for thousands of years under the various guises of war, torture and mutilation yet it is often neglected mainly because of overwhelming stigma and shame surrounding it. Based on academic and grey literature on sexual violence against men in conflict, this article discusses the complex reasons for lack of quality data on this important topic. The motivations of sexual violence against men are also explored through applying causal theories that are largely based on female victims of sexual violence. Finally, interventions for the management of sexual violence against men in conflict are discussed. This study concludes that gendered binaries and strict gender roles are primarily responsible in accentuating sexual violence against men in terrorizing and humiliating victims, and must be addressed. It also calls for more research and advocacy of male victims of sexual violence in order to fully understand the dynamics of this challenge as well as to offer effective care for male survivors of such violence.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender roles, armed conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Sexual Violence, SV against Men

Year: 2012

Rights of the Body and Perversions of War: Sexual Rights and Wrongs Ten Years Past Beijing*


Petchesky, Rosalind P. 2005. “Rights of the Body and Perversions of War: Sexual Rights and Wrongs Ten Years Past Beijing*.” International Social Science Journal 57 (184): 301–18. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2451.2005.552.x.

Author: Rosalind P. Petchesky

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Men, SV against Women, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2005

Viol d’hommes, masculinités et conflits armés


Le Pape, Marc. 2013. “Viol d’hommes, masculinités et conflits armés.” Cahiers d’études africaines, 1, 201‑15.

English: Le Pape, Marc. 2013. “Male Rape, Masculinities and Armed Conflicts.” Reports on African Studies, 1, 201‑15.

Author: Marc Le Pape


Les violences sexuelles commises contre des hommes au cours de conflits armés ont longtemps été négligées. Elles ont été reconnues par des activistes des droits de l’homme et quelques ONG médicales dans les contextes de guerre en ex-Yougoslavie et à l’Est de la République du Congo. Puis, au début des années 2000, des études ont commencé à se donner pour objectif à la fois d’enquêter sur ces formes de brutalité et d’expliquer le fait qu’elles aient été si rarement considérées par les ONG et les agences des Nations Unies. Nous examinons ces études et les explications qu’elles donnent aux approches exclusivement orientées sur les viols de femmes.

English Abstract:

For a long time the topic of sexual violence against men in wartime has been neglected. Inquiries have been conducted for the first time by human rights activists and some medical NGOs during wars in ex-Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since as early as 2000, researchers began to investigate sexual assaults on men, and at the same time tried to explain why general comments by NGOs and UN agencies about sexual violence have explicitly excluded male victims. We examine these studies and the critical explanations they give for approaches exclusively oriented on the rape of women.

Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo, armed conflicts, international law, homophobia, sexual violence, male rape

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, International Law, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Men Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Europe, Balkans Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2013


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