War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 77%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $9.95   
  • New (8) from $31.98   
  • Used (7) from $9.95   


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 behaviors, 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. Illustrated with photographs, drawings, and graphics, and drawing from scholarship spanning six academic disciplines, this book provides a unique study of a fascinating issue.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The war between the sexes is not so different from war itself, according to this provocative and disturbing study of how gender is inextricably embedded into human conceptions of war and aggression. Pointing to consistent, cross-cultural gender arrangements throughout history most fighting soldiers have been male; patriarchies have traditionally used the ideal of the vulnerable female to encourage male violence during war Goldstein (Three Way Street) has amassed a huge array of research, literature and anecdote in this comprehensive, cohesive overview of dozens of subtopics, from myths of Amazon warriors to changes in the design and marketing of GI Joe dolls over the decades. He astutely evaluates studies of the effects of childhood sex segregation, drawing disconcerting conclusions that it prepares and preconditions children for adult wartime behavior. His analysis of female military imagery and women's frequent participation in revolutionary movements is imaginative and convincing: "The image of a woman holding a rifle and a baby is found in liberation movements across the third world." At times it seems like Goldstein, professor of international relations at the American University in Washington, D.C., has bitten off more than anyone could chew in a single volume. His inquiry into wartime rape and the feminization of the male enemy relies too heavily on Richard C. Trexler's fascinating but flawed Sex and Conquest, and his worthwhile critical use of Lionel Tiger's classic Men in Groups falls short of grappling with the book's problems. But overall, he has produced a remarkable compendium of information and analysis that moves toward a vital, ongoing cultural discussion. Photos andillus. (Oct. 17) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Goldstein has amassed a huge array of research, literature and anecdote in this comprehensive, cohesive overview of dozens of subtopics, from myths of Amazon warriors to changes in the design of GI Joe dolls over the decades." Publishers Weekly

"...a fascinating book about an important issue. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone who has an interest in why we humans behave the way we do." Jane Goodall, primatologist, The Jane Goodall Institute

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521001809
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 540
  • Sales rank: 638,793
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
1 A puzzle: the cross-cultural 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
2 Women warriors: the historical record of female combatants 59
A Female combat units 60
B Mixed-gender units 77
C Individual women fighters 106
D Women military leaders 116
3 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
4 Groups: bonding, hierarchy, and social identity 183
A Male bonding 194
B Ability to work in hierarchies 203
C In-group/out-group psychology 217
D Childhood gender segregation 228
5 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 Women's peace activism 322
6 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 exploiting women's labor 380
7 Reflection: the mutuality of gender and war 403
References 415
Index 481
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)