The double insult: explaining gender differences in the psychological consequences of war

B. Kellezi, S. Reicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although women have been shown to be at higher mental health risk following the experience of extreme events in war, this phenomenon is not fully understood. In the present study, we investigate the role of gender norms in determining the interpretation of events and the degree of social support given to victims. Thirtyeight survivors from the Kosovo conflict in 1999 were interviewed and data was analyzed using thematic and content analysis. The findings suggest that events which are seen as affirming gender norms (such as men who were injured in fighting the enemy) evoke pride in the victim and support from the community whereas events that are seen as undermining gender norms (such as women who are sexually assaulted) evoke shame in the victim and rejection by the community. Women, we suggest, are psychologically vulnerable both because they are more likely than men to experience identity undermining events and also because the consequences of such events are more severe for women than men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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