Wartime Sexual Violence

Tutkimustuotos: Ensyklopedia-artikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu


Sexual violence perpetrated during war—for instance, in Ukraine, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia, or Rwanda—has attracted a large amount of media, political, and academic attention. It has also been the object of numerous national and international policy initiatives like United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and it has given birth to an abundant empirical and theoretical literature. While more information on the causes, actors, frequency, and patterns of wartime sexual violence has been gathered, a number of issues have remained under-researched, such as how wartime sexual violence affects cisgendered men and boys, as well as sexual and gender minorities.
Reviewed are existing theoretical approaches to wartime sexual violence, dividing these approaches into two partly overlapping and complementary categories. The first focuses on the cultural environment in which sexual violence is perpetrated, and in particular on gender roles, norms, and relations that underpin it, while the second focuses on perpetrators, and discusses their strategic or opportunistic motives. Both theoretical strands tend to focus primarily on wartime rape against women, somehow paying less attention to other forms of conflict-related sexual violence, and to other categories of victims. This article critically reviews the questions that these theoretical strands have left pending, with particular emphasis on five debates: First, how exactly does wartime sexual violence relate to other forms of violence committed during conflicts and/or in “peace times”? Second, how can sense be made of the complex causality entailed in the perpetration of wartime sexual violence? Third, how will incorporating non-female, as well as non-cisgendered female victims, change our views and theories of wartime sexual violence? Fourth, can these accounts be incorporated and, if they can, how can the prevalence of wartime sexual violence and its variations be effectively measured? And fifth, how can researchers ensure that research results are usable for policy purposes?
In order to provide answers to these questions, and to move the analysis forward, research should question the binary readings that lie at the core of the study of wartime sexual violence (notably the male/female and peace/war binaries), and systematically challenge the way victims, perpetrators, and types of sexual violence have been framed so far. This article also foregrounds the suggestion to adopt an intersectional analysis in the study of wartime sexual violence, to better understand the relations between its perpetration and broader societal cleavages. Such analyses would aid, at the policy level, the development of more efficient prevention strategies and support programs for survivors.
OtsikkoOxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies
ToimittajatNukhet Sandal
KustantajaOxford University Press
ISBN (elektroninen)9780190846626
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 31 tammik. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA3 Kirjan tai muun kokoomateoksen osa


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