The most wide-ranging book ever published on gender-selective mass killing, or "gendercide," this collection of essays is also the first to explore systematically the targeting of non-combatant "battle-age" males in various wartime and peacetime contexts.
Representing such fields as sociology, political science, psychology, queer studies, and human-rights activism, the contributors explore themes and issues outlined by editor Adam Jones in the book's opening essay. In that article, which provoked considerable debate when it was first published in 2000, Jones argues that throughout history and around the world, the population group most consistently targeted for mass killing and state-backed oppression are non-combatant men of roughly fifteen to fifty-five years of age. Such males, Jones contends, are typically seen as "the group posing the greatest danger to the conquering force." Jones's article also examines the use of "gendercidal institutions"--such as female infanticide, witch-hunts, military conscription, and forced labor--against both women and men.
The subsequent essays--some original, some drawn from a special issue of the Journal of Genocide Research and other sources--expand, diversify, and criticize this framing of gendercide. They range from a sophisticated theoretical analysis of gendercide to in-depth treatments of such topics as the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the gendercidal oppression of young African American males, the predicament of gays and lesbians in the face of increasing biotechnological manipulation of human behavior, and the psychology of shame and humiliation underlying generdercides against both sexes. Still other articles take issue with Jones's theories of gendercide, or explore how human-rights organizations have defined, documented, and responded to gendercide and other sex-specific atrocities. A closing essay considers the relevance of feminist and men's studies literatures for the study of gendercide.