Rape as an Institution During War and Genocide Cover Image

Gwałt jako instytucja w czasie wojen i ludobójstw
Rape as an Institution During War and Genocide

Author(s): Lech M. Nijakowski
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: genocide studies; historical sociology; historical comparative research; rape; institution of rape

Summary/Abstract: This article discusses five non-formal institutions of rape from the perspectives of historical sociology and genocide studies, distinguishing types of rape on the basis of a comparative historical analysis of ten cases: (1) rape as reward for soldiers and other combatants; (2) rape as a method of initiating soldiers, integrating the military group, and legitimating masculinity; (3) rape as an offensive institution, fulfilling two functions: (3.1) symbolic attack on an enemy group; (3.2) increasing damage/cost to the enemy by making their lives harder in terms of trauma to women, the raising of unwanted children, and so on; (4) rape as a method of ethnic cleansing; (5) rape as a form of genocide. The five types of rape are regarded as institutions: expressions of culturally fixed values and norms which determine accepted goals and the methods of attaining those goals and are embedded in the subcultures of particular organizations (the army, the police, party militia groups, etc.). Not every rape is related to these institutions. In this sense, rapes can be regarded by members of a particular organization as justified or unjustified. Moreover, perpetrators may feel institutionally compelled to engage in the raping of victims.

  • Issue Year: 1/2021
  • Issue No: 7
  • Page Range: 17-35
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish