August 3, 2018 in Sociology
English Humanities

Baaz and Stern explore attitudes and opinions on the problem of numerous rapes committed by militaries during the recent war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The study has focused on the reasons for massive rapes as cited by soldiers. The survey also reveals how soldiers tend to distinguish between “evil rapes” and “lust rapes”.

The study conducted by Baaz and Stern represents a primary empirical research. The main research method used by the scholars is interviews with soldiers. At the same time, the study contains certain elements of a secondary research. One may observe secondary research elements in the parts that address the issue of rape in war and the overview of the Congolese war. The general research question is whether there was the relationship between the armed conflict and sexual violence, as far as the Congolese war is concerned. The authors do not make any hypothesis in the context of the research question, but instead point out that it is difficult to compare the rape situation before and after the war, since no research was conducted to assess rapes in the military prior to the war.

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It seems that authors do not find a clear answer to the research question. However, the results of study allow only logically suggest that there is a relationship between rapes in the military and the armed conflict. One of the main reasons for rape, which was cited by the soldiers, is the aspiration of fighters to achieve sexual relief (Baaz and Stern 514). The term “fighter” should be emphasized here. One may understand that this term signifies not a mere soldier, but a soldier, who is on fighting mission, e.g. participates in an armed conflict. Therefore, the fact that soldiers used the term fighter can be a link between sexual violence and armed conflict. Despite the failure to provide a clear answer to the research question, the study is valuable as it reveals that insight into the reasons of rape in military, and attitudes of soldiers towards it.


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