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Academic Work

  • Kiss, L., et al., 2020. Male and LGBT survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations: a realist review of health interventions in low-and middle-income countries. Conflict and Health.

    Conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) against women and girls has been the subject of increasing research and scholarship. Less is known about the health of men, boys and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and other gender non-binary persons who survive CRSV. This paper is the first systematic realist review on medical, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions that focusses on male and LGBT survivors of CRSV. The review explores the gender differences in context, mechanisms and outcomes that underpin interventions addressing the health and psychosocial wellbeing of male and LGBT survivors. The aim is to contribute to the design and delivery of gender-sensitive and, when needed, gender-specific approaches for interventions that respond to specific needs of different groups of all survivors. We conducted a systematic search of academic and grey literature to identify medical and MHPSS interventions that included men, boys and LGBT survivors. We identified interventions specifically targeting women and girls that we used as comparators. We then purposively sampled studies from the fields of gender and health, and sexual abuse against men and LGBT people for theory building and testing. We identified 26 evaluations of interventions for survivors of CRSV. Nine studies included male survivors, twelve studies focussed exclusively on female survivors and one study targeted children and adolescents. No intervention evaluation focussed on LGBT survivors of CRSV. The interventions that included male survivors did not describe specific components for this population. Results of intervention evaluations that included male survivors were not disaggregated by gender, and some studies did not report the gender composition. Although some mental health and psychosocial consequences of sexual violence against men and boys may be similar among male and female survivors, the way each process trauma, display symptoms, seek help, adhere to treatment and improve their mental health differ by gender. Initiatives targeting male and LGBT survivors of CRSV need to be designed to actively address specific gender differences in access, adherence and response to MHPSS interventions. Models of care that are gender-sensitive and integrated to local resources are promising avenues to promote the health of male and LGBT survivors of CRSV.

  • Eichert, D., 2018. “Homosexualization” revisited: an audience-focused theorization of wartime male sexual violence. International Feminist Journal of Politics.

    This paper builds upon and challenges existing literature regarding the causes of wartime male sexual violence (particularly Sivakumaran’s concept of “homosexualization”). The author argues that norms about sexuality and the intended audience of violence motivate male sexual violence in three ways. First, perpetrators choose to express power over the individual victim through the weaponization of masculinity, bodily integrity and/or sexual identity. Second, sexual violence can be used to reaffirm group belonging and hetero- masculinity among perpetrators. Third, sexual violence sends a message to a larger community or nation regarding supremacy and power hierarchies. Two examples (Abu Ghraib and Nazi concentration camps) are presented to illustrate the framework’s concepts.

  • Alleyne-Green, B., et al., 2018. Physical and Sexual Violence Experienced by Male War-Affected Youth: Implications for Post-Conflict Functioning and Intimate Relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

    This study explored the association between war violence exposure during armed conflict and intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization, and the impact of positive community and family reintegration on IPV among a sample (N = 92) of war-affected male youth, post-conflict Sierra Leone. Trained Sierra Leonean researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with youth and their caregivers. Results indicate that exposure to violence during armed conflict as well as community and family reintegration were negatively associated with psychological IPV perpetration. Community reintegration was negatively associated with physical IPV. Sexual victimization was negatively associated with sexual IPV perpetration, whereas physical victimization had positive association. More research needs to be done on male war-affected youth as victims of physical, psychological, and sexual violence during conflict and the impact this has on the quality of their intimate relationships, occurrence of IPV in those relationships (as victims in addition to being perpetrators), and their community reintegration.

  • Zalewski, M. et al, 2018. Sexual Violence Against Men in Global Politics (Interventions). New York: Routledge.

    Sexual violence against men is an under-theorised and under-noticed topic, though it is becoming increasingly apparent that this form of violence is widespread. Yet despite emerging evidence documenting its incidence, especially in conflict and post-conflict zones, efforts to understand its causes and develop strategies to reduce it are hampered by a dearth of theoretical engagement. One of the reasons that might explain its empirical invisibility and theoretical vacuity is its complicated relationship with sexual violence against women. The latter is evident empirically, theoretically, and politically, but the relationship between these violences conjures a range of complex and controversial questions about the ways they might be different, and why and how these differences matter.

    It is the case that sexual violence (when noticed at all) has historically been understood to happen largely, if not only, to women, allegedly because of their gender and their ensuing place in gender orders. This begs important questions regarding the impact of increasing knowledge about sexual violence against men, including the impact on resources, on understandings about, and experiences of masculinity, and whether the idea and practice of gender hierarchy is outdated. This book engages this diverse set of questions and offers fresh analysis on the incidences of sexual violence against men using both new and existing data. Additionally, the authors pay close attention to some of the controversial debates in the context of sexual violence against men, revisiting and asking new questions about the vexed issue of masculinities and related theories of gender hierarchy.

    The book will be of great interest to students and scholars of sex, gender, masculinities, corporeality, violence, and global politics, as well as to practitioners and activists.

  • Schulz, P., 2018. Displacement from gendered personhood: sexual violence and masculinities in northern Uganda. International Affairs.

    This article empirically deconstructs the gendered effects of sexual violence on male survivors’ masculinities in northern Uganda. Throughout the growing literature on the topic, the effects of wartime gender-based violence against men are widely seen as compromising male survivors’ masculine identities, commonly framed as ‘emasculation’ by way of ‘feminization’ and/or ‘homo-sexualization’. Yet exactly how such processes unfold from survivors’ perspectives remains insufficiently explored, nor has existing scholarship critically engaged with the dominant analytical categories and their associated terminologies. This article seeks to engage with both of these gaps. First, I identify normative and analytical shortcomings of the ‘emasculation’/‘feminization’ paradigm. Drawing on Edström, Dolan and colleagues, I propose an alternative reading to analyse the effects of sexual violence on gender identities. Second, I argue that the impact of sexual violence on masculinities is a layered process, compounded through numerous sexual and gendered harms and perpetuated over time. In northern Uganda, this process is composed of intersecting gendered harms that subordinate male survivors along gendered hierarchies, and that signify survivors’ perceived inabilities to provide, protect and procreate—as expected of them by local constructions of hegemonic masculinity. I therefore emphasize that sexual violence against men strikes at multiple levels of what it means to be a man, which is important to understanding and addressing these layered gendered harms in the aftermath of the violations.

  • Clark, J. N., 2017. The Vulnerability of the Penis: Sexual Violence against Men in Conflict and Security Frames. Men and Masculinities.

    Sexual violence remains a persistent scourge of war. The use of sexual violence against men in armed conflict, however, remains underresearched and is often sidelined. As an explanation, this interdisciplinary article situates the issue of sexual violence against men within a new analytical framework. It does so through a focus on the core subtext which this violence reveals—the vulnerability of the penis. Highlighting critical disconnects between what the penis is and what it is constructed as being, it argues that the vulnerable penis destabilizes the edifice of phallocentric masculinity, and hence it has wider security implications. Conflict-related sexual violence has increasingly been securitized within the framework of human security. The concept of human security, however, is deeply gendered and often excludes male victims of sexual violence. This gendering, in turn, reflects a broader gendered relationship between sexual violence and security. Sexual violence against women manifests and reaffirms their long-recognized vulnerability in war. Sexual violence against men, in contrast, exposes the vulnerability of the penis and thus represents a deeper security threat. Fundamentally, preserving the integrity and power of the phallus is critical to the security and integrity of phallocentric masculinity and thus to maintaining a systemic stability that is crucial in situations of war and armed conflict.

  • Donne, M., et al., 2017. Barriers to and Facilitators of Help-Seeking Behavior Among Men Who Experience Sexual Violence. American Journal of Men’s Health.

    Research on sexual violence and related support services access has mainly focused on female victims; there is still a remarkable lack of research on men who experience sexual violence. Research demonstrates that people who both self-identify as men and are members of sexual-orientation minority populations are at higher risk of sexual violence. They are also less likely to either report or seek support services related to such experiences. The present study is an exploratory one aimed at filling the gap in the literature and better understanding how men, both straight and gay as well as cisgender and transgender, conceptualize, understand, and seek help related to sexual violence. A sample of 32 men was recruited on-line and participated in either a one-on-one in-depth interview (N = 19) or one of two focus group discussions (N = 13). All interviews and groups were audiotaped, professionally transcribed and coded using NVivo 9 qualitative software. The present analysis focused on barriers to and facilitators of support service access. Emergent and cross-cutting themes were identified and presented, with an emphasis on understanding what factors may prevent disclosure of a sexual violence experience and facilitate seeking support services and/or professional help. Through this analysis, the research team aims to add knowledge to inform the development of tools to increase service access and receipt, for use by both researchers and service professionals. Although this study contributes to the understanding of the issue of men’s experiences of sexual violence, more research with diverse populations is needed.

  • Auchter, J., 2017. Forced male circumcision: gender-based violence in Kenya. International Affairs.

    Forced male circumcision has not yet been recognized as a specific gendered human rights abuse in international humanitarian law. This article takes the first step towards assessing these acts by considering them in the context of post-election violence in Kenya in 2007. This case allows for the exploration of how forced male circumcision was used in a context of political violence and militia-led—and often state-sanctioned—terror. The article thus considers multiple legal issues and concerns that arise from this sort of violence in different contexts. I situate the case within a larger framework of conventional understandings on gender and violence as a means to question them and render them problematic. Specifically, I argue that understanding sexual violence as exclusively targeting women prevents appropriate prosecution of forced male circumcisions in Kenya and of sexual violence against men more generally. Sexual violence against men involves forms of emasculation in which perpetrators seek to feminize their victims by rendering them weak, violated and passive, in contradistinction to stereotypical masculine ideals. If one’s relationship to femininity is a crucial issue in sexual violence, whether the victims are men or women, then being able to properly account for cases like Kenya, in both a political and a legal sense, is crucial to legal accountability for sexual violence more broadly.

  • Clark, J. N., 2017. Masculinity and male survivors of wartime sexual violence: a Bosnian case study. Conflict, Security and Development.

    While conflict-related sexual violence affects men and women, male survivors are often overlooked or marginalised. The case of BosniaHerzegovina (BiH) is a poignant example. Twenty-two years after the Bosnian war ended, little attention has been given to the men who suffered diverse forms of sexual violence during the conflict. The present article contributes to addressing this gap. Based on semi-structured interviews with 10 men who endured the horrors of the Čelopek camp in north-east BiH, it focuses on the lives of these men today. Exploring the men’s silences and the intersection of their trauma with ongoing everyday problems, it goes beyond the commonly made argument that sexual violence against men constitutes an attack on masculinity. Fundamentally, it examines how masculinity norms and expectations have shaped the men’s stories, coping strategies, and current needs. This use of a masculinity lens highlights important gaps within transitional justice, which to date has narrowly focused on violent and militarised forms of masculinity. The article thus calls for transitional justice processes to give more attention to masculinities affected by violence.

  • Ferrales, G., Brehm, H. N. and Mcelrath, S., 2016. Gender-Based Violence Against Men and Boys in Darfur: The Gender-Genocide Nexus. Gender & Society.

    Analyses of gender-based violence during mass conflict have typically focused on violence committed against women. Violence perpetrated against men has only recently been examined as gender-based violence in its own right. Using narratives from 1,136 Darfuri refugees, we analyze patterns of gender-based violence perpetrated against men and boys during the genocide in Darfur. We examine how this violence emasculates men and boys through four mechanisms: homosexualization, feminization, genital harm, and sex-selective killing. In line with an interactionist approach, we demonstrate how genocidal violence is gendered and argue that perpetrators committing gender-based violence perform masculinity in accordance with hegemonic gender norms in Sudan. We also show how gender-based violence enacts, reinforces, and creates meaning on multiple levels in a matrix of mutually reinforcing processes that we term the gender-genocide nexus. By extending the gender–violence link to the context of mass atrocity, this study facilitates an understanding of the mechanisms through which gender inequalities can be reproduced and maintained in diverse situations and structures.

  • Touquet, H. and Gorris, E., 2016. Out of the shadows? The inclusion of men and boys in conceptualisations of wartime sexual violence, Reproductive Health Matters.

    Researchers increasingly acknowledge that men and boys are frequent victims of sexual violence in conflict alongside women and girls, who remain the group that is disproportionately affected. This increasing awareness has contributed to significant efforts to include men and boys in conceptualisations of conflict-related sexual violence in policy as well as in international criminal law. This article analyses the changes that have occurred in these two fields in recent years. We argue that while a major shift towards including male victims in international policy on wartime sexual violence took place in 2013-2014, this development has yet to be consolidated in salient policy guidelines and handbooks. While men and boys’ potential victimisation is frequently recognised, most policy documents do not treat the topic of male victimisation in depth. International criminal law on the other hand has pioneered gender-neutral and inclusive definitions. However, the interpretation and application of the gender-inclusive approach is often left to the discretion of judges and the prosecution who at times fail to take the experience of males fully into account, signalling the continuing influence of gender stereotypes and deeply held cultural myths. A renewed effort to fully integrate male victims into conceptualisations of conflict-related sexual violence in both policy and law is therefore advised.

  • Ngari, A., 2016. Male victims of sexual violence: war’s silent sufferers. Institute for Security Studies.

    Sexual violence is a tactic of war, used to humiliate, dominate and instill fear. It is also increasingly being used as a tactic of terrorism. While the focus has largely been on women and girls as victims of sexual violence, boys and men are equally at risk. Sexual violence against men and boys takes on a range of heinous acts, including anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration and coercion to rape others. Many of these acts are seen as emasculating, and while many male victims are willing to give accounts of what they witnessed, they are less likely to express what they themselves had experienced in conflict.

  • Tadros, M., 2016. Challenging Reified Masculinities: Men as Survivors of Politically Motivated Sexual Assault in Egypt. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies.

    This article examines incidents of politically motivated sexual violence against men in protest spaces at a distinct juncture in Egypt’s history, after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak (2011–13). The article examines the reified conceptions of masculinities in relation to gender-based violence that contribute to the omission of men’s experiences of sexual assault in protest spaces. An analysis of such reifications, their dynamics, and implications is critically important for two subfields: the study of masculinities in the Middle East and the study of men and gender-based violence on conflict. The article draws on empirical data comprising twelve in-depth life histories with men who belong to vigilante groups that sought to rescue women from sexual assault in protest spaces and interviews with women and men who were sexually assaulted during protests. This is corroborated with primary data made available through the work of psychologists and secondary literature.

  • Edström, J., Dolan, C. and Shahrokh, T. with David, O., 2016. Therapeutic Activism: Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda Breaking the Silence over Male Rape in Conflict-related Sexual Violence. IDS Evidence Report 182, Brighton: IDS

    This report explores one central question addressed by the study: ‘despite the odds stacked against them, what makes it possible for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to organise and become activists, challenging discriminatory social and gender norms?’ The study finds that, despite pervasive discrimination, groups of male survivors have been able to develop resilience and mutual support through collective action. Further, the study finds that third-party service providers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can play an important support role in reinforcing the resilience and capacity of male survivors to organise collectively.

  • Gorris, E. A. P., 2015. Invisible victims? Where are male victims of conflict-related sexual violence in international law and policy? European Journal of Women’s Studies.

    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.

  • Misra, A., 2015. The landscape of silence : sexual violence against men in war. London: Hurst.

    Why is it that men and boys have been and still are violated in human conflict, be it in conventional war, insurgencies or periods of civil and ethnic strife? Above all, why, throughout history, have victims, perpetrators and society as a whole refused to acknowledge this violation, and why do episodes of male-on-male rape and sexual abuse feature so rarely in accounts of war, be they official histories, eye-witness accounts or popular narratives? Is there more to this elision of memory than simply shame? Is there more to it than the victor’s desire to violate the enemy body?

    Amalendu Misra’s startlingly original research into male sexual violence explores the meaning and role of the male body prior to its abuse and how it is altered by violation in wartime. He examines the bio-political contexts of conflict in which primarily men and occasionally women sexually violate men; he details the inadequate legal safeguards for survivors of such events; and in unearthing and analysing an ignored aspect of war, he inquires whether such violence can ever be deterred.

  • Weishut, D., 2015. Sexual torture of Palestinian men by Israeli authorities. Reproductive Health Matters.

    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. © 2015 Reproductive Health Matters. Published by Elsevier BV. All rights reserved.

  • Kirby, P., 2015. Ending sexual violence in conflict: the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and its critics. International Affairs.

    During the past year, the UK Government has become the lead advocate for a perhaps surprising foreign policy goal: ending sexual violence in conflict. The participation of government representatives from more than 120 countries in a London Summit in June 2014 was the clearest manifestation of this project. This article offers an early assessment of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) and situates it within the history of global action against sexual and gender-based violence from UN Security Council Resolution 1325 onwards, with a particular focus on three key developments. First, the PSVI has embraced the already common understanding of rape as a ‘weapon of war’, and has stressed the importance of military training and accountability. This has exposed the tensions within global policy between a focus on all forms of sexual violence (including intimate partner violence in and out of conflict situations) on the one hand, and war zone activities on the other. Second, the Initiative has placed great emphasis on ending impunity, which implicates it in ongoing debates about the role of international and local justice as an effective response to atrocity. Third, men and boys have been foregrounded as ignored victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The PSVI has been crucial to that recognition, but faces significant challenges in operationalizing its commitment and in avoiding damage to existing programmes to end violence against women and girls. The success of the Initiative will depend on its ability to navigate these challenges in multiple arenas of global politics.

  • Apperley, H., 2015. Hidden victims: a call to action on sexual violence against men in conflict. Medicine, conflict, and survival.

    This commentary will describe the forms of sexual violence that target men; the dynamics of conflict that permit them, and the reasons these cases remain a buried phenomenon. Examining the barriers to action brings to light the responsibility that the international community must take on in order to tackle sexual violence against men. A strategic demand for change, this call to action clarifies the need for inclusive policy and international awareness, prioritization of prevention and the provision of effective support, regardless of gender.

  • Lanyero Omona, L., 2014. Male Rape Victims in the Lord’s Resistance Army war and the conflict in Eastern Congo. International Institute for Social Studies.

    Sexual Violence against Men in Uganda is an underreported crime. Sexual Violence against Men is considered a taboo in most cultures. It is an issue not talked about because many consider the rape of Men nearly impossible. How- ever, Sexual Violence against Men is an issue that can no longer be is clear that Men have also been Victims of rape in armed conflicts all over the world. The laws that define rape should be revised to include Men and boys as victims of rape. This is because there are several reported growing incidents of Male rape in Uganda today. A Medical doctor working in Ntinda hospital said of all referrals from the refugee law project the Male patients referred to her have at least reported incidents of Sexual Violence. In this hospital, Approximately 15 operations are carried out on a monthly basis to repair the damaged anuses of Male rape survivors. A demographic health survey in 2006 showed that at least 11% of Ugandan Men had identified themselves as Victims of Sexual Violence which is not related to conflict. Another study showed that in Pabbo camp in Gulu district of Northern Uganda, boys and Men were reported among Victims of Sexual Violence.

  • Dolan, C., 2014. Letting go of the gender binary: Charting new pathways for humanitarian interventions on gender-based violence, International Review of the Red Cross.

    Increasing acknowledgement in some quarters that women and girls are not the only victims of sexual violence, and that sexual violence is not the only form of gender-based violence (GBV), has yet to be adequately reflected in policy and practice in the humanitarian world.

  • Cohen, C., 2014. Male Rape is a Feminist Issue. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    This book seeks to problematize knowledge and practices regarding ‘male rape’ and its relationship to feminism, examining this issue from a Foucauldian perspective. Feminist constructions of ‘male rape’ can plausibly be claimed to operate as a ‘regime of truth’, but one must question whether this is running counter to patriarchy.

  • Vojdik V., 2013. Sexual Violence Against Men and Women in War: A Masculinities Approach, Nevada Law Journal (Research Paper No 217).

    Rape and sexual violence against men in war remains largely invisible, yet pervasive across time and place. The silence around male rape raises critical questions about male bodies, gender, and power that have been largely ignored by legal scholars and international courts. While feminist and human rights scholars have theorized rape of women as a weapon of war, they have largely ignored sexual violence against men. Following the mass rape of women in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, international tribunals recognized that sexual violence against women can constitute a weapon of war and a crime against humanity. In both conflicts, men were also raped, castrated, and sexually assaulted; yet male bodies are virtually absent from the international jurisprudence of gender violence during war. Drawing upon masculinities theory, this Article seeks to enrich feminist and human rights accounts of gender violence. Sexual violence against men and women during war are not separate phenomena, but rather are inter-related and mutually constitutive. Both function as gendered tools to empower particular male groups within specific social spaces. Further, sexual violence against men is best understood as part of a continuum of violence against men in society, from bullying of boys, to the rape of men in prison, and the sexual humiliation of Muslim Arab men in Abu Ghraib. Within these settings, sexual violence against men tends to be normalized, shaming its male victims and rendering the violence invisible. By illuminating male-on-male sexual violence, this Article seeks to enrich feminist accounts of gender violence to better explain both violence against men and women.

  • Mouthaan, S., 2013. Sexual Violence Against Men and International Law – Criminalising the Unmentionable. International Criminal Law Review.

    This article will discuss the manner in which international law deals with crimes of sexual violence committed against men during armed conflict. To date sexual violence against men has received little attention from the international community; instead its focus is almost exclusively on women, yet in armed conflicts across the world, sexual violence is also perpetrated against men. The example of torture demonstrates the current weaknesses in the relevant provisions for acts of sexual violence generally, and acts of sexual violence committed against men specifically. I argue that international criminal tribunals should address sexual violence more broadly, including against men. However, rather than to adopt a piecemeal approach differentiating between acts of sexual violence suffered by men and women, the experiences of men of sexual violence in armed conflict should be used to contribute to understanding the broader issue of gender-based crimes, of which sexual violence forms part.

  • Grey, R. and Shepherd, L., 2013. Stop Rape Now?” Masculinity, Responsibility, and Conflict-related Sexual Violence, Men and Masculinities.

    Inspired by the themes of violence, masculinity and responsibility, this article investigates the visibility of male victims/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in war. Despite the passing of UNSCR 1820 in 2008, the formulation of UN ACTION (United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict), and the appointment of a United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General to lead policy and practice in this issue area, we argue here that male survivors/victims remain a marginal concern, which has, among other consequences, profound implications for the facilities that exist to support male victims/survivors during and after periods of active conflict. In the first section of the article, we provide an overview of the contemporary academic literature on rape in war, not only to act as the foundation for the analytical work that follows but also to illustrate the argument that male survivors/victims of sexualised violence in war are near-invisible in the majority of literature on this topic. Second, we turn our analytical lens to the policy environment charged with addressing sexualised violence in conflict. Through a discourse analysis focussed on the website of UN ACTION (, we demonstrate that this lack of vision in academic work maps directly to a lack of visibility in the policy arena. The third section of the article explores the arrangements in place within extant peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction programmes that aim to facilitate recovery with victims/survivors of sexualised violence in war. We conclude with reflections on the themes of violence, masculinity and responsibility in the context of sexualised violence in war and suggest that in this context all privileged actors have a responsibility to theorise violence with careful attention to gender in order to avoid perpetuating models of masculinity and war-rape that have potentially pernicious effects.

  • Solangon, S. and Patel, P., 2012. Sexual violence against men in countries affected by armed conflict. Journal of Conflict, Security and Development.

    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 terrorising 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.

  • Oosterveld, V., 2011. The Gender Jurisprudence of the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Progress in the Revolutionary United Front Judgments. Cornell International Law Journal.

    In March 2009, Trial Chamber I of the Special Court of Sierra Leone issued its judgment in Prosecutor c. Issa Hassan Sesay, Morris Kallon and Augustine Gbao, known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) case. The appeals judgment was rendered on October 26, 2009. The RUF trial judgment brought the first-ever convictions within an international or internationalized tribunal for the crimes against humanity of sexual slavery and forced marriage (as an inhumane act), which were confirmed by the Appeals Chamber. This article argues that more attention should be paid to the contributions of the RUF judgments to gender-sensitive interpretations of international crimes. The article begins highlighting how the RUF judgments addressed three specific prohibited acts: rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage. The article then turns to the RUF Trial Chamber’s consideration of the war crime of committing acts of terrorism. In a significant analysis, the Trial Chamber described the RUF’s gendered systematic use of rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage to break down familial and social bonds so as to create an overarching atmosphere of terror within the civilian population in RUF-held territory. Finally, this article draws attention to the many ways in which the RUF judgments acknowledge the intersectionality of gender-based crimes. Specifically, it notes how the judgments demonstrate that gender-based crimes often intersect with other crimes, including the crime against humanity of murder and the war crime of committing acts of terrorism. The judgments also illustrate how gender-based crimes such as sexual slavery and forced marriage can intersect with each other. This article concludes that the RUF judgements are notable additions to the annals of gender jurisprudence.

  • Christian, M. et al., 2011. Sexual and gender based violence against men in the Democratic Republic of Congo: effects on survivors, their families and the community. Medicine, conflict and survival.

    Media and service provider reports of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) perpetrated against men in armed conflicts have increased. However, response to these reports has been limited, as existing evidence and programs have primarily focused on prevention and response to women and girl survivors of SGBV. This study aims to contribute to the evidence of SGBV experienced by males by advancing our understanding of the definition and characteristics of male SGBV and the overlap of health, social and economic consequences on the male survivor, his family and community in conflict and post-conflict settings. The qualitative study using purposive sampling was conducted from June-August 2010 in the South Kivu province of Eastern DRC, an area that has experienced over a decade of armed conflict. Semi structured individual interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with adult male survivors of SGBV, the survivors’ wife and/or friend, health care and service providers, community members and leaders. This study found that SGBV against men, as for women, is multi-dimensional and has significant negative physical, mental, social and economic consequences for the male survivor and his family. SGBV perpetrated against men and boys is likely common within a conflict-affected region but often goes unreported by survivors and others due to cultural and social factors associated with sexual assaults, including survivor shame, fear of retaliation by perpetrators and stigma by community members. All key stakeholders in our study advocated for improvements and programs in several areas: (1) health care services, including capacity to identify survivors and increased access to clinical care and psychosocial support for male survivors; (2) economic development initiatives, including microfinance programs, for men and their families to assist them to regain their productive role in the family; (3) community awareness and education of SGBV against men to reduce stigma and discrimination and increase acceptance of survivors by family and larger community.

  • Monk-Turner, E., Light, D., 2010. Male sexual assault and rape: who seeks counseling? Sex Abuse.

    This work rests on responses from 219 male sexual assault and rape victims who self-reported their victimization in the 1994-1996 Violence and Threats of Violence Against Women and Men in the United States survey. The authors expected that men who reported being severely assaulted would be more likely than others to seek counseling. They defined severely assaulted as having been penetrated, assaulted with a weapon, threatened, self-reported sustaining physical injuries, sought medical care, and/or reported the assault to the police. However, in their logistic model that explores who sought counseling, only one variable was significant. The odds of seeking counseling for
    men who reported being penetrated had significantly lower odds of seeking counseling all else equal.

  • Johnson K., Scott J., Rughita B., Kisielewski M., Asher J., Ong R. and Lawry L., 2010. Association of Sexual Violence and Human Rights Violations With Physical and Mental Health in Territories of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. JAMA.

    Studies from the Eastern Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have provided anecdotal reports of sexual violence. This study offers a population- based assessment of the prevalence of sexual violence and human rights abuses in specific territories within Eastern DRC.

  • Sivakumaran, S., 2010. Lost In Translation: UN Responses to Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in Situations of Armed Conflict. International Review of the Red Cross.

    This article considers the UN responses to sexual violence against men and boys in armed conflict–in particular, steps taken towards understanding this problem, measures of prevention and protection, and consequences for accused perpetrators. In so doing, the article assesses the state of knowledge and work in the field of male sexual violence and notes that although there have been many positive developments, the issue is not always moving in the right direction.

  • Loncar, M., Henigsberg, N. and Hrabac, P., 2009. Mental Health Consequences in Men Exposed to Sexual Abuse During the War in Croatia and Bosnia. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

    In the research project on sexual abuse of men during the war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, detailed information from 60 victims of such crimes was gathered. The aim of the research was to define key attributes of sexual abuse of men in war as well as consequences it had on the victims. A method of structured interview was used. Also, the statement of each victim was recorded. Victims were exposed to physical torture of their genitals, psycho-sexual torture and physical abuse. The most common symptoms of traumatic reactions were sleep disturbances, concentration difficulties, night-mares and flashbacks, feelings of hopelessness, and different physical stress symptoms such as constant headaches, profuse sweating, and tachycardia. In addition to rape and different methods of sexual abuse, most of the victims were heavily beaten. The conclusion is made that the number of sexually abused men during the war must have been much higher than reported.

  • Johnson K., Asher J., Rosborough S., Raja A., Panjabi R., Beadling C., and Lawry L., 2008.Association of Combatant Status and Sexual Violence With Health and Mental Health Outcomes in Post conflict Liberia. JAMA.

    We carried out a cross-sectional household survey among Sudanese refugees and Ugandan nationals in Arua district Uganda, and Sudanese non-refugees in Yei county Sudan. The objective was to document and compare, across population groups, violent events experienced or witnessed, both to document the frequency and nature of violent events and to assess the potential burden of psychological trauma. The extensive psychological trauma in this population has been reported elsewhere (Karaunakara et al. 2004Karaunakara, U. K., Neuner, F., Schauer, M., Singh, K., Hill, K., Elbert, T. and Burnham, G. 2004. Traumatic events and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst Sudanese nationals, refugees and Ugandans in the West Nile. African Health Sciences, 4: 83–93. [Google Scholar]). Half or more of all groups had experienced or witnessed injury by a weapon or gun, beating/torture, harassment by armed personnel, robbery/extortion or imprisonment. Having ever experienced or witnessed confiscation of property was more common among both Sudanese groups than among Ugandans. Exposure to sexual violence was common among both men and women, particularly during times of migration. Almost all violent events were witnessed or experienced more commonly by refugees. Violent events continued for refugees after settlement in Uganda. Many of the violent events reported by Ugandans had occurred earlier, during Uganda’s civil conflict. The protection offered refugees in Uganda, by the host government and United Nations, seemed of limited benefit, both now and in the past. In spite of recent peace accords for southern Sudan, many refugees are likely to remain in Uganda for some time. The potential for refugees and those remaining in Sudan to develop longer term psychological disorders from the high level of exposure to violent events is substantial.

  • Chapleau, K., Oswald, D. and Russell, B., 2008. Male rape myths: The role of gender, violence, and sexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

    This study investigates the structure of Struckman-Johnson and Struckman- Johnson’s Male Rape Myth Scale, examines gender differences in rape myth acceptance, and explores the underlying ideologies that facilitate male rape myth acceptance. A three-factor model, with rape myths regarding Trauma, Blame, and Denial as separate subscales, is the best fitting solution. However, the results indicate that additional scale development and validity tests are necessary. In exploratory analyses, men are more accepting of male rape myths than are women. Benevolent sexism toward men and acceptance of interpersonal violence are strong predictors of male rape myth acceptance for both men and women. Thus, the attitudes that facilitate rape myth acceptance against men appear to be similar to those that facilitate rape myth acceptance against women. Suggestions for future scale development are outlined and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.

  • Shepherd, L., 2008. Gender, Violence & Security. London: Zed Books.

    In this highly original poststructural feminist critique, the author maps the discursive terrains of institutions, both NGOs and the UN, which formulate and implement resolutions and guides of practice that affect gender issues in the context of international policy practices.

    The author investigates UN Security Council Resolution 1325, passed in 2000 to address gender issues in conflict areas, in order to examine the discursive construction of security policy that takes gender seriously. In doing so, she argues that language is not merely descriptive of social/political reality but rather constitutive of it. Moving from concept to discourse, and in turn to practice, the author analyses the ways in which the resolution’s discursive construction had an enormous influence over the practicalities of its implementation, and how the resulting tensions and inconsistencies in its construction contributed to its failures. The book argues for a re-conceptualisation of gendered violence in conjunction with security, in order to avoid partial and highly problematic understandings of their practical relationship.

    Drawing together theoretical work on discourses of gender violence and international security, sexualised violence in war, gender and peace processes, and the domestic-international dichotomy with her own rigorous empirical investigation, the author develops a compelling discourse-theoretical analysis that promises to have far-reaching impact in both academic and policy environments.

  • Sivakumaran, S., 2007. Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflict. European journal of international law.

    Reports of sexual violence by men against men emerge from numerous conflicts, ranging in time from Ancient Persia and the Crusades to the conflicts in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite these accounts, relatively little material exists on the subject and the issue tends to be relegated to a footnote. This article ascertains the extent to which male sexual violence is committed in armed conflict. It considers factors that explain under-reporting by victims and lack of detection on the part of others. The particular forms of male sexual violence are also examined: namely rape, enforced sterilization and other forms of sexual violence, including enforced nudity, enforced masturbation and genital violence. The dynamics present in these offences are explored, with issues of power and dominance, expressed through emasculation, considered. Thus, attention is paid to ideas of feminization, homosexualization and the prevention of procreation. The symbolic construction of male and female bodies in armed conflict is also explored.

  • Carpenter, R. C., 2006. Recognizing Gender-based Violence Against Civilian Men and Boys in Conflict Situations. Security Dialogue.

    While gender-based violence has recently emerged as a salient topic in the human security community, it has been framed principally with respect to violence against women and girls, particularly sexual violence. In this article, I argue that gender-based violence against men (including sexual violence, forced conscription, and sex-selective massacre) must be recognized as such, condemned, and addressed by civilian protection agencies and proponents of a ‘human security’ agenda in international relations. Men deserve protection against these abuses in their own right; moreover, addressing gender-based violence against women and girls in conflict situations is inseparable from addressing the forms of violence to which civilian men are specifically vulnerable.

  • Oosterhoff, P., Zwanikken, P. and Ketting, E., 2004. Sexual torture of men in Croatia and other conflict situations: an open secret. Reproductive Health Matters.

    Sexual torture constitutes any act of sexual violence which qualifies as torture. Public awareness of the widespread use of sexual torture as a weapon of war greatly increased after the war in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Sexual torture has serious mental, physical and sexual health consequences. Attention to date has focused more on the sexual torture of women than of men, partly due to gender stereotypes. This paper describes the circumstances in which sexual torture occurs, its causes and consequences, and the development of international law addressing it. It presents data from a study in 2000 in Croatia, where the number of men who were sexually tortured appears to have been substantial. Based on in-depth interviews with 16 health professionals and data from the medical records of three centres providing care to refugees and victims of torture, the study found evidence of rape and other forced sexual acts, full or partial castration, genital beatings and electroshock. Few men admit being sexually tortured or seek help, and professionals may fail to recognise cases. Few perpetrators have been prosecuted, mainly due to lack of political will. The silence that envelopes sexual torture of men in the aftermath of the war in Croatia stands in strange contrast to the public nature of the crimes themselves.

  • Peel, M., Mahtani, A., Hinshelwood, G. and Forrest, D., 2000.The sexual abuse of men in detention in Sri Lanka. The Lancet.

    To estimate the frequency and consequences of the sexual abuse of men in detention in Sri Lanka, we reviewed records of all Sri-Lankan men who had been referred to the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture between January, 1997, and December, 1998. Those on whom medicolegal reports had been written were identified and the necessary information extracted. For the purposes of this paper, sexual abuse comprises assaults to the genitals, non-consensual sexual acts, and objects pushed through the anus.

  • Donnelly, D. S. K., 1996. Honey, We Don’t Do Men”. Gender Stereotypes and the Provision of Services to Sexually Assaulted Males. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

    This research examines the effects of gender role stereotypes on the provision of services to adult, noninstitutionalized male victims of sexual assault. Thirty sexual assault crisis providers in a major Southeastern city participated in in-depth interviews focusing on their experiences with male sexual assault victims, their attitudes toward these men, and the services provided by their organizations. Although official reports of male sexual assault victims are relatively uncommon, our research confirms that male victims do exist and that they are more numerous than official statistics indicate. Moreover, our findings suggest that traditional gender role stereotypes, lack of responsiveness to male victims, and gaps in service provision prevent sexually assaulted men from getting the help they need.