Violence against men

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Violence against men is, collectively, violent acts that are disproportionately or exclusively committed against men. Men are overrepresented as both victims[1][2] and perpetrators of violence.[3][4] Sexual violence against men is treated differently in any given society from that committed against women, and may be unrecognized by international law.[5][6][7][8]


Studies of social attitudes show violence is perceived as more or less serious depending on the gender of victim and perpetrator.[9][10][11] According to a study in the publication Aggressive Behavior, violence against women was about a third more likely to be reported by third parties to the police regardless of the gender of the attacker,[12] although the most likely to be reported gender combination was a male perpetrator and female victim.[12] The use of stereotypes by law enforcement is a recognised issue,[13] and international law scholar Solange Mouthaan argues that, in conflict scenarios, sexual violence against men has been ignored in favor of a focus on sexual violence against women and children.[14] One explanation for this difference in focus is the physical power that men hold over women making people more likely to condemn violence with this gender configuration.[15] The concept of male survivors of violence go against social perceptions of the male gender role, leading to low recognition and few legal provisions.[16] Often there is no legal framework for a woman to be prosecuted when committing violent offenses against a man.[17]

Richard Felson challenges the assumption that violence against women is different from violence against men. The same motives play a role in almost all violence, regardless of gender: to gain control or retribution and to promote or defend self-image.[18]

Writing for TIME, Cathy Young criticised the feminist movement for not doing enough to challenge double standards in the treatment of male victims of physical abuse and sexual assault.[19]

Domestic violence

The 2013 "Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project (PASK)",[20] published by the Domestic Violence Research Group (Springer Publishing journal "Partner Abuse"[21]) again reiterated the findings of parity in rates of both perpetration and victimisation for men and women. The "Unprecedented Domestic Violence Study Affirms Need to Recognize Male Victims".[22]

Men who are victims of domestic violence are at times reluctant to report it or to seek help. There is also an established paradigm that only males perpetrate domestic violence and are never victims.[23] As with other forms of violence against men, intimate partner violence is generally less recognized in society when the victims are men.[24][25] Violence of women against men in relationships is often 'trivialized'[3][26][27] due to the supposed weaker physique of women; in such cases the use of dangerous objects and weapons is omitted.[3] Research since the 1990s has identified issues of perceived and actual bias when police are involved, with the male victim being negated even whilst injured.[28]

Mass killings

In situations of structural violence that include war and genocide, men and boys are frequently singled out and killed.[29] The murder of targets by sex during the Kosovo War, estimates of civilian male victims of mass killings suggest that they made up more than 90% of all civilian casualties.[29] Other examples of selective mass killings of civilian men include some of Stalin's purges.[30]

Non-combatant men and boys have been and continue to be the most frequent targets of mass killing and genocidal slaughter, as well as a host of lesser atrocities and abuses.[31] Gendercide Watch, an independent human rights group, documents multiple gendercides aimed at males (adult and children): The Anfal Campaign,[32] (Iraqi Kurdistan), 1988 - Armenian Genocide[33] (1915–17) - Rwanda,[34] 1994. Forced conscription can also be considered gender-based violence against men.[35]

Sexual violence

In armed conflict, sexual violence is committed by men against men as psychological warfare in order to demoralize the enemy.[36] The practice dates back to Ancient Persia and the Crusades.[37] Castration is used as a means of physical torture with strong psychological effects, namely the loss of the ability to procreate and the loss of the status of a full man.[37] International criminal law does not consider gender based sexual violence against men a separate type of offense and treats it as war crimes or torture.[38] The culture of silence around this issue often leaves men with no support.[39]

In 2012, a UNHCR report stated that "SGBV (sexual and gender based violence) against men and boys has generally been mentioned as a footnote in reports,".[40] In one study, less than 3% of organizations that address rape as a weapon of war, mention men or provide services to male victims.[6][8][41] It was noted in 1990 that the English language is "bereft of terms and phrases which accurately describe male rape".[42]


Homicide statistics according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics[43]
Male offender/Male victim 65.3%
Male offender/Female victim 22.7%
Female offender/Male victim 9.6%
Female offender/Female victim 2.4%

In the U.S., crime statistics from the 1976 onwards show that men make up the majority of the homicide perpetrators regardless if the victim is female or male. Men are also over-represented as victims in homicide involving both male and female offenders.[43] According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, women who kill men are most likely to kill acquaintances, spouses or boyfriends while men are more likely to kill strangers.[44] In many cases, women kill men due to being victims of intimate partner violence,[45] however it should be noted that this research was conducted on women on death row, a sample size of approximately 97 during the last 100 years.[46]

See also


  1. Felson, Richard (2002). Violence and gender reexamined. American Psychological Association. p. abstract. ISBN 1557988951.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "What Is Gendercide?". Gendercide Watch. Archived from the original on 2015-03-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Surprising Truth About Women and Violence: Traditional stereotypes have led to double standards that often cause women's violence—especially against men—to be trivialized". TIME. June 25, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Our attitude to violence against men is out of date". The Telegraph. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lewis, Dustin (2009). "Unrecognized Victims: Sexual Violence Against Men in Conflict Settings Under International Law". Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 DelZotto, Augusta; Jones, Adam. "Male-on-Male Sexual Violence in Wartime: Human Rights' Last Taboo?". Paper presented to the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), New Orleans, LA, 23–27 March 2002. WebCite. External link in |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Zeljka Mudrovcic, National Programme Officer United Nations Population Fund (2001). The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls, A Consultative Meeting on Mainstreaming Gender in Areas of Conflict and Reconstruction. Bratislava: United Nations. p. 64. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Stemple, Lara (February 2009). "Male Rape and Human Rights" (PDF). Hastings Law Journal. 60 (3): 605–647.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Golden, Tom. "Male Bashing in Mental Health Research". Men Are Good. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-03-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
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  12. 12.0 12.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
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  16. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  17. Sowmya, S. "Sexual assault on men: Crime that is a reality".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  19. Young, Cathy. "Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe Is Rotten for Men". TIME.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "PARTNER ABUSE STATE OF KNOWLEDGE PROJECT (PASK)". Editorial Board of the Peer-Reviewed Journal, Partner Abuse and the Advisory Board of the Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  22. "Unprecedented Domestic Violence Study Affirms Need to Recognize Male Victims" (Press release). Springer. PRWEB. May 21, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Woods, Michael (Oct 19, 2007). "1 The Rhetoric And Reality Of Men And Violence". Men's Health Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-03-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (subscription required)
  25. This_Way_to_the_Revolution_114: A Memoir. Peter Owen Limited. 1 June 2011. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-7206-1521-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Eva Schlesinger Buzawa; Carl G. Buzawa (2003). Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response. Sage Publications. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7619-2448-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Donald G. Dutton (1 January 2011). Rethinking Domestic Violence. UBC Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-7748-5987-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Jones, Adam Gendercide and Genocide. Journal of Genocide Research, 2: 2 (June 2000), pp. 185-211. DOI:10.1080/713677599
  30. Jones, Adam (2000). Journal of Genocide Research, 2: 2, p. 188.
  31. Human Security Report 2005: War and Peace in the 21st Century, p. 111.
  32. "Case Study: The Anfal Campaign (Iraqi Kurdistan), 1988". Gendercide Watch.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Case Study: The Armenian Genocide,1915-17". Gendercide Watch.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Case Study: Genocide in Rwanda, 1994". Gendercide Watch.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  36. Will Storr. "The rape of men: the darkest secret of war". the Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  43. 43.0 43.1 "Homicide trends in the United States" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. Greenfeld, Lawrence A.; Snell, Tracy L. (December 1999). "Bureau of Justice Statistics - Special Report - Women Offenders" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. p. 14. Retrieved 6 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. Farr, Kathryn Ann (July 1997). "Aggravating and Differentiating Factors in the Cases of White and Minority Women on Death Row". Crime & Delinquency. 43 (3): 260–278. They [women] typically kill people they know, primarily men - most often husbands or lovers in domestic encounters (Mann 1996; Campbell 1993; Silverman et al. 1993; Weisheit 1993; Browne 1987; Goetting 1987; Wilbanks 1983). ... Many female murderers have killed husbands or boyfriends who battered them repeatedly (Gillespie 1989; Browne 1987).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  46. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>