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Displacement from gendered personhood: sexual violence and masculinities in northern Uganda
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History, The Hugo Valentin Centre. Univ Bremen, Inst Intercultural & Int Studies, Bremen, Germany; Makerere Univ, Refugee Law Project, Kampala, Uganda.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9388-0080
2018 (English)In: International Affairs, ISSN 0020-5850, E-ISSN 1468-2346, Vol. 94, no 5, p. 1101-+Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 94, no 5, p. 1101-+
National Category
Gender Studies
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366268DOI: 10.1093/ia/iiy146ISI: 000444557400007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-366268DiVA, id: diva2:1264132
Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-19Bibliographically approved

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