Why do some armed conflicts have higher levels of sexual violence than others? Some existing theoretical work has pointed toward the possibility that the presence of sexual violence before armed conflict occurs can impact the levels of sexual violence during armed conflict, however, little empirical work has examined these theories. This thesis uses new, unique data to address concerns about the validity of previous studies and to explore sexual violence over the boundaries of time, looking at pre-conflict levels of sexual violence in addition to levels of sexual violence during armed conflicts. Using a parallel mixed methods research design, this thesis utilizes ordered logit regression analyses to test its central hypothesis, as well as an exploratory thematic analysis to generate further understanding of the phenomena. Overall, the findings of the study align with the expectations, indicating a positive relationship between levels of sexual violence in a country during peacetime and levels of sexual violence seen during the presence of armed conflict, suggesting that peacetime levels of sexual violence in a country can be predictive of the levels of sexual violence seen in that country during armed conflict. This thesis builds upon the limited data available on sexual violence to aid in the understanding of and fight against sexual violence in both peacetime and in times of conflict. Future research should continue expanding on this study as well as working to organize and make available existing data and sources to ensure future studies can work to better understand the reasons behind the use of sexual violence in conflict as well as during peacetime.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
School of Politics, Security and International Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Snowden, Sydney, "Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: How Levels of Sexual Violence in Peacetime Affect Levels of Sexual Violence in Conflict" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1667.