Gender Bias In Sexual Violence

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Gender Bias in Sexual Offences
Sexual violence occurs in times of peace and of war. It is not limited to any particular setting. It takes place within committed relationships and between strangers alike. In fact, it can occur between people of any gender and sexuality, even though there is no universal consensus on this aspect. However, the academic community is unanimous in its conclusion that sexual violence is usually about dominance and control rather than some form of sexual gratification. It is not all together denied that reasons of personal sexual gratification may exist, but sometimes these violations may be a by-product of necessary military training, or in a more instrumental capacity—for example, as a reward offered to soldiers
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The mass rapes of hundreds of women during the conflict in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia drew the attention of the world community at large. The feminist human rights approach has been successful in persuading the international tribunals to identify sexual violence against women as a means of genocide and also a crime against humanity. This is evident from the cases decided by these tribunals. Monica Adhiambo Onyango and Karen Hampanda (2011) discuss that the current human rights discourse being used to examining wartime sexual violence is rather problematic as it promotes an exclusive male-perpetrator and female-victim paradigm. The fact remains that there is very little research documenting the long-term outcomes of individuals and communities that have experienced male sexual violence during armed conflicts. Consequently, rape and other forms of sexual violence against men have remained largely ignored in the post conflict judicial proceedings. Onyango and Hamngpanda argue that the social constructions of masculinity are a major contributing factor to the underreporting of male sexual violence by survivors and the consequent lack of response from the appropriate agencies and international…show more content…
There have been evidences historically of such occurrences in ancient warfare also. Moreover, male castration is known to have been carried out by the Chinese, Persians and the Egyptians too, amongst others (Sandesh Sivakumaran, 2010). Sexual violence against men has been occurring in times of peace too but in times of conflict, the frequency is exacerbated and the nature of such acts is changed drastically. As it is, peacetime sexual violence is marked by lack of prosecution and low conviction rates. However, in times of conflict, this situation gets even worse, in a situation where the survivors are less likely to access medical, psychosocial and judicial services. Onyango and Hamngpanda (2011) enumerate the motivations of sexual violence against men and boys in times of conflict stating that they include torture and interrogation; initiation into military/ paramilitary forces; terrorizing communities; demoralization and destruction of familial ties and community cohesion as well as ethnic

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