Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

International Relations

Reader 1

Wendy Lower

Reader 2

Jonathan Petropoulos

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Rape and other forms of sexual violence have been used against civilian populations since the advent of armed conflict. However, recent scholarship within the last few decades proves that rape is not a byproduct of war or a result of transgressions by a few “bad apples,” rather, rape and sexual violence are used as strategic, systematic, and calculated tools of war, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. Rape has also been used as a means of preventing future generations of children of “undesirable” groups from being born. Rape and sexual violence are also used with the purpose of intimidating women and their communities, destroying the social fabric and cohesion of specific groups, and even as a final act of humiliation before killing the victim. In each conflict that is examined in this thesis, sexual violence is used against civilian populations for the specific purpose of genocide.