Sexual Violence Against Men in Global Politics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sexual Violence Against Men in Global Politics

1st Edition

Edited by Marysia Zalewski, Paula Drumond, Elisabeth Prugl, Maria Stern


278 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-05-10
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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on understandings about, and experiences of masculinity, and whether the idea and practice of gender hierarchy is outdated.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.


"The book Sexual Violence Against Men in Global Politics is the first edited collection to focus on male victims of CRSV[…]The book includes essays, poems and short reflection pieces from a broad range of contributors to offer a complex, arguably messy, look at an uncomfortable subject. The book has two main sections with the first offering pieces in which authors engage with provocations about CRSV and the second revisiting the framing of CRSV. Each section then includes two-page reflections from multiple scholars."

-Jamie J. Hagen, London School of Economics and Political Science

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION - Sexual Violence Against Men in Global Politics

Marysia Zalewski, Paula Drumond, Elisabeth Prügl, and Maria Stern

"Tribulations" – Poem byNziza D.Harouna


Chapter 1 – Provocations in Debates about Sexual Violence against Men

Marysia Zalewski

Chapter 2 – Battle-Induced Urotrauma, Sexual Violence, and American Servicemen Chris Hendershot

Chapter 3 – Masculinity, Men and Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military

Elizabeth Mesok

Chapter 4 – Languages of Castration – Male genital mutilation in conflict and its embedded messages

Henri Myrttinen

Chapter 5 – Medical Approaches to Sexual Violence in War, in Guidelines and in Practice

Caroline Cottet

Chapter 6 – The Political Economy of Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in Armed Conflict

Sara Meger



  • Reflections on Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in Global Politics

Paul Higate and Nivi Manchanda

  • Homo Interruptus

Paul Kirby

  • Can Our Intellectual Curiosity on Gender Cause Harm?

Madeline Rees

  • Gender, Sex and Sexual Violence Against Men

Laura J. Shepherd

  • Not for the faint of heart: reflections on rape, gender, and conflict

Lara Stemple



Chapter 7 – Uncovering Men’s Narratives of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Michele Leiby

Chapter 8 – Sex, Violence and Heteronormativity: Re-visiting performances of sexual violence against men in former Yugoslavia

Paula Drumond

Chapter 9 – "Only a fool…" Why Men Don’t Disclose Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in an Age of Global Media

Chris Dolan

Chapter 10 – Masculine subjectivities in United Nations discourse on gender violence (1970-2015): perpetrators, allies, and victims

Gizeh Becerra

Chapter 11 – Sexual Violence or torture? The Framing of Sexual Violence against Men in armed conflict in Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Reports

Thomas Charman

Chapter 12 – Conflict-related Sexual Violence Against Men and the International Criminal Jurisprudence

Patricia Viseur Sellers and Leo Nwoye



  • Familiar Stories, the Policing of Knowledge and Other Challenges Ahead

Maria Eriksson Baaz

  • Reflections on the Slippery Politics of Framing

Harriet Gray

  • Male Victims: A blind spot in law

Charu Hogg

  • Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in the Congo

Ilot Muthaka

  • SGBV Against Men and Boys as a Site of Theoretical and Political Contestation

Jill Steans

"People you May Know" – Poem by Kevin Kantor

About the Editors

Marysia Zalewski is Professor at Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom.

Paula Drumond is Assistant Professor, Institute of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (IRI/PUC-Rio), Brazil.

Elisabeth Prügl is Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.

Maria Stern is Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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