Masculinities / Femininities

There is little empirical data not only on men’s experiences of sexual violence, but of relevance here, on the number of male victims of forced marriage, sexual slavery or concubinage (See as an exception is RLP ‘They Slept with Me’ 2011). Statistical research on the number of men or boys as victims of such egregious forms of harm does not exist. In addition, we know little about the roles of women and girls in the perpetuation of forced marriage and sexual slavery, despite increasing number of studies that document the ways women within armed groups benefit from and therefore perpetuate this abuse. Thus in Sierra Leone, evidence that women in senior level positions actively abducted and were instrumental in forcing young girls into marriage has begun to emerge. These observations in the study of sexual violence in wartime urge researchers and practitioners to reconsider assumptions about victimhood and examine the ways militarised femininities shape behavior and practice.