Graduation Year

2018

Abstract

Sexual violence against male victims during armed conflict still remains largely under-researched. The small amount of research that does exist attributes the occurrence of such violence to the perpetrator’s desire to assert their own masculine power. However, claiming that sexual violence against males is perpetrated only to assert personal masculinity fails to explain the attempt of individual perpetrators to use sexual violence to feminize enemy communities during armed conflict. Instead, this essay argues that it is the state that embodies normative masculinity. The State as an ideational entity demands the defense and expansion of its normative masculinity during armed conflict. This embodiment of ideal masculinity is envisioned and also aspired to by the individuals. Consequently, individuals within that state become subordinate agents tasked with implementing the state’s demand through violent means like sexual violence against other males. Failing to recognize that the occurrence of sexual violence lies in the logic of state’s masculinity leads to insufficient understanding of both the occurrence of sexual violence against males, as well as the reluctance of both national and international community to properly address this atrocity.

Disciplines

International and Area Studies

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