War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 17, 2003 - History - 523 pages
5 Reviews
Gender roles are nowhere more prominent than in war. Yet contentious debates, and the scattering of scholarship across academic disciplines, have obscured understanding of how gender affects war and vice versa. In this authoritative and lively review of our state of knowledge, Joshua Goldstein assesses the possible explanations for the near-total exclusion of women from combat forces, through history and across cultures. Topics covered include the history of women who did fight and fought well, the complex role of testosterone in men's social behaviours, and the construction of masculinity and femininity in the shadow of war. Goldstein concludes that killing in war does not come naturally for either gender, and that gender norms often shape men, women, and children to the needs of the war system. lllustrated with photographs, drawings, and graphics, and drawing from scholarship spanning six academic disciplines, this book provides a unique study of a fascinating issue.
  

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Review: War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa

User Review  - Christian Turesson - Goodreads

Excellent overview, but his biological review lacks the 'ultimate' causal perspective. Read full review

Review: War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa

User Review  - Heidi - Goodreads

Overall I thought this was very well researched and comprehensive, including tons of biological, sociological, and psychological background. I really appreciated his critical and honest perspective ... Read full review

Contents

A puzzle the crosscultural consistency of gender roles in war
1
A The universal gendering of war
10
B The universal potential for war
22
C Feminist theories of war and peace
34
Conclusion
57
Women warriors the historical record of female combatants
59
A Female combat units
60
B Mixedgender units
77
A Male bonding
194
B Ability to work in hierarchies
203
C Ingroupoutgroup psychology
217
D Childhood gender segregation
228
Conclusion
249
Heroes the making of militarized masculinity
251
A Test of manhood as a motivation to fight
252
B Feminine reinforcement of soldiers masculinity
301

C Individual women fighters
106
D Women military leaders
116
Conclusion
127
Bodies the biology of individual gender
128
A Genetics
139
B Testosterone levels
143
C Size and strength
159
D Brains and cognition
169
E Female sex hormones
179
Conclusion
182
Groups bonding hierarchy and social identity
183
C Womens peace activism
322
Conclusion
331
Conquests sex rape and exploitation in wartime
332
A Male sexuality as a cause of aggression
333
B Feminization of enemies as symbolic domination
356
C Dependence on exploring womens labor
380
Conclusion
402
Reflections the mutuality of gender and war
403
References
415
Index
481
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About the author (2003)

Joshua Goldstein is Professor of International Relations at the American University, Washington DC. He is the author of several research works and textbooks, and has specialised in research into the management of regional conflicts.

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