Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Decay or Resilience?: The Long-Term Social Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone

  • Carlo Koos
Extract

This article examines the long-term impact of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) on prosocial behavior in Sierra Leone. Two theoretical arguments are developed and tested. The first draws on the feminist literature and suggests the presence of a decay mechanism: victims and their families are stigmatized by their community and excluded from social networks. The second integrates new insights from social psychology, psychological trauma research, and anthropology, and argues for a resilience mechanism. It argues that CRSV-affected households have a strong incentive to remain part of their community and will invest more effort and resources into the community to avert social exclusion than unaffected households. Using data on 5,475 Sierra Leonean households, the author finds that exposure to CRSV increases prosocial behavior—cooperation, helping, and altruism—which supports the resilience hypothesis. The results are robust to an instrumental variable estimation. The ramifications of this finding go beyond the case of Sierra Leone and generate a more general question: What makes communities resilient to shocks and trauma?

Copyright
References
Hide All
Aldrich, Daniel P. 2012. Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press.
Amowitz, Lynn L., Reis, Chen, Lyons, Kristina Hare, Vann, Beth, Mansaray, Binta, Akinsulure-Smith, Adyinka M., Taylor, Louise, and Iacopino, Vincent. 2002. “Prevalence of War-Related Sexual Violence and Other Human Rights Abuses among Internally Displaced Persons in Sierra Leone.JAMA 287, no. 4: 513–21. doi: 10.1001/jama.287.4.513.
Angrist, Joshua, and Pischke, Jorn-Steffen. 2015. Mastering Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Annan, Jeannie, Blattman, Christopher, Mazurana, Dyan, and Carlson, Khristopher. 2011. “Civil War, Reintegration, and Gender in Northern Uganda.Journal of Conflict Resolution 55, no. 6: 877908. doi: 10.1177/0022002711408013.
Bambrick, Kati. 2004. “Silent Victims, Young Girls at Risk: An Evaluation of Post-War Rape and the Response to Rape in the Provinces of Sierra Leone.” Technical Report. Freetown, Sierra Leone: Campaign for Good Governance.
Batson, C. Daniel, Lishner, David A., and Stocks, Eric L.. 2015. “The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis.” In Schroeder, David A. and Graziano, William G., eds., The Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behavior. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Bauer, Michal, Blattman, Christopher, Chytilová, Julie, Henrich, Joseph, Miguel, Edward, and Mitts, Tamar. 2016. “Can War Foster Cooperation?Journal of Economic Perspectives 30, no. 3: 249–74. doi: 10.1257/jep.30.3.249.
Bauer, Michal, Cassar, Alessandra, Chytilová, Julie, and Henrich, Joseph. 2014. “War's Enduring Effects on the Development of Egalitarian Motivations and In-Group Biases.Psychological Science 25, no. 1: 4757. doi: 10.1177/0956797613493444.
Beber, Bernd, Roessler, Philip, and Scacco, Alexandra. 2014. “Intergroup Violence and Political Attitudes: Evidence from a Dividing Sudan.Journal of Politics 76, no. 3: 649–65. doi: 10.1017/S0022381614000103.
Becchetti, Leonardo, Conzo, Pierluigi, and Romeo, Alessandro. 2011. “Violence, Social Capital and Economic Development: Evidence of a Microeconomic Vicious Circle.” ECINEQ Working Paper 2011-197. Verona, Italy: Society for the Study of Economic Inequality. Available at https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6240219.pdf, accessed December 4, 2017.
Bellows, John, and Miguel, Edward. 2006. “War and Institutions: New Evidence from Sierra Leone.American Economic Review 96, no. 2: 394–99. doi: 10.1257/000282806777212323.
Bellows, John, and Miguel, Edward. 2009. “War and Local Collective Action in Sierra Leone.Journal of Public Economics 93, no. 11: 1144–57. doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2009.07.012.
Blackwell, Matthew, Iacus, Stefano, King, Gary, and Porro, Guiseppe. 2009. “cem: Coarsened Exact Matching in Stata.Stata Journal 9, no. 4: 524–46. At https://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/cemStata_0.pdf, accessed January 5, 2018.
Blattman, Christopher. 2009. “From Violence to Voting: War and Political Participation in Uganda.American Political Science Review 103, no. 2: 231–47. doi: 10.1017/S0003055409090212.
Bonanno, George A., Westphal, Maren, and Mancini, Anthony D.. 2011. “Resilience to Loss and Potential Trauma.Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 7, no. 1: 511–35. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104526.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. “The Forms of Capital.” In Richardson, John G., ed., Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York, N.Y.: Greenwood Publishing Group Inc.: 241–58.
Bowlby, John. 1969. Attachment. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books.
Bowles, Samuel. 2008. “Being Human: Conflict: Altruism's Midwife.Nature 456: 326–27. doi: 10.1038/456326a.
Brownmiller, Susan. 1975. Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster.
Buss, Doris E. 2009. “Rethinking ‘Rape as a Weapon of War.’Feminist Legal Studies 17, no. 2: 145–63. doi: 10.1007/s10691-009-9118-5.
Calhoun, Lawrence G., and Tedeschi, Richard G.. 2014. Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth: Research and Practice. New York, N.Y.: Psychology Press.
Card, Claudia. 1996. “Rape as a Weapon of War.Hypatia 11, no. 4: 518. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.1996.tb01031.x.
Carpenter, Charli. 2006. “Recognizing Gender-Based Violence against Civilian Men and Boys in Conflict Situations.Security Dialogue 37, no. 1: 83103. doi: 10.1177/0967010606064139.
Carter-Sowell, Adrienne R., Cheng, Zhansheng, and Williams, Kipling D.. 2008. “Ostracism Increases Social Susceptibility.Social Influence 3, no. 3: 143–53. doi: 10.1080/15534510802204868.
Christian, Mervyn, Safari, Octave, Ramazani, Paul, Burnham, Gilbert, and Glass, Nancy. 2011. “Sexual and Gender Based Violence against Men in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Effects on Survivors, Their Families and the Community.Medicine, Conflict, and Survival 27, no. 4: 227–46. doi: 10.1080/13623699.2011.645144.
Cohen, Dara Kay. 2013a. “Explaining Rape during Civil War: Cross-National Evidence (1980–2009).American Political Science Review 107, no. 3: 461–77. doi: 10.1017/S0003055413000221.
Cohen, Dara Kay. 2013b. “Female Combatants and the Perpetration of Violence: Wartime Rape in the Sierra Leone Civil War.World Politics, 65, no. 3 (July): 383415. doi: 10.1017/S0043887113000105.
Cohen, Dara Kay. 2016. Rape during Civil War. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Cohen, Dara Kay, and Green, Amelia Hoover. 2012. “Dueling Incentives: Sexual Violence in Liberia and the Politics of Human Rights Advocacy.Journal of Peace Research 49, no. 3: 445–58. doi: 10.1177/0022343312436769.
Coulter, Chris. 2009. Bush Wives and Girl Soldiers: Women's Lives through War and Peace in Sierra Leone. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
De Luca, Giacomo, and Verpoorten, Marijke. 2015. “Civil War and Political Participation: Evidence from Uganda.Economic Development and Cultural Change 64, no. 1: 113–41. doi: 10.1086/682957.
Denov, M. S. 2006. “Wartime Sexual Violence: Assessing a Human Security Response to War-Affected Girls in Sierra Leone.Security Dialogue 37, no. 3: 319–42. doi: 10.1177/0967010606069178.
DeWall, C. Nathan, ed. 2013. The Oxford Handbook of Social Exclusion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Diken, Bülent, and Laustsen, Carsten Bagge. 2005. “Becoming Abject: Rape as a Weapon of War.Body & Society 11, no. 1: 111–28. doi: 10.1177/1357034X05049853.
Dovidio, John F., Piliavin, Jane Allyn, Schroeder, David A., and Penner, Louis A.. 2006. The Social Psychology of Prosocial Behavior. Mahwah, N.J.: Psychology Press.
Durkheim, Emile. [1893]. 1984. The Division of Labor in Society. New York, N.Y.: Free Press.
Gberie, Lansana. 2005. A Dirty War in West Africa: The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press.
Gilligan, Michael J., Pasquale, Benjamin J., and Samii, Cyrus. 2013. “Civil War and Social Cohesion: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence from Nepal.American Journal of Political Science 58, no. 3: 604–19. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12067.
Gottschall, Jonathan. 2004. “Explaining Wartime Rape.Journal of Sex Research 41, no. 2: 129–36. doi: 10.1080/00224490409552221.
Guberek, Tamy, Guzmán, Daniel, Silva, Romesh, Cibelli, Kristen, Asher, Jana, Weikart, Scott, Ball, Patrick, and Grossman, Wendy M.. 2006. “Truth and Myth in Sierra Leone: An Empirical Analysis of the Conflict, 1991–2000.” A Report by the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group and the American Bar Association. Palo Alto, Calif.: Benetech. At https://hrdag.org/publications/truth-and-myth-in-sierra-leone-an-empirical-analysis-of-the-conflict-1991-2000, accessed December 4, 2017.
Gutiérrez-Sanín, Francisco, and Wood, Elisabeth Jean. 2017. “What Should We Mean by ‘Pattern of Political Violence’? Repertoire, Targeting, Frequency, and Technique.Perspectives on Politics 15, no. 1: 2041. doi: 10.1017/S1537592716004114.
Hagen, Kristen, and Yohani, Sophie. 2010. “The Nature and Psychosocial Consequences of War Rape for Individuals and Communities.International Journal of Psychological Studies 2, no. 2: 1425. doi: 10.5539/ijps.v2n2p14.
Hartman, Alexandra C., and Morse, Benjamin S.. Forthcoming. “Wartime Violence, Empathy, and Intergroup Altruism: Evidence from the Ivoirian Refugee Crisis in Liberia.” Working Paper. At http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/miscellaneous_files/119_-_HartmanMorseViolenceEmpathy-May_2015_-_ABCA.pdf, accessed December 4, 2017.
Hoffman, Danny. 2011. The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.
Hoover Green, Amelia. 2012. “Statistical Evidence of Sexual Violence in International Court Settings.” In Bergsmo, Morten, Skre, Alf Butenschøn, and Woods, Elisabeth J., eds., Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes. Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher: 295313.
Human Rights Watch. 2003. “‘We’ll Kill You If You Cry:’ Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict.” At https://www.hrw.org/report/2003/01/16/well-kill-you-if-you-cry/sexual-violence-sierra-leone-conflict, accessed December 4, 2017.
Human Security Report Project. 2012. Human Security Report 2012: Sexual Violence, Education, and War: Beyond the Mainstream Narrative. Vancouver, Canada: Human Security Press. At https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/2012HumanSecurityReport-FullText_0.pdf, accessed January 5, 2018.
Humphreys, Macartan, and Weinstein, Jeremy M.. 2006. “Handling and Manhandling Civilians in Civil War.American Political Science Review 100, no. 3: 429–47. doi: 10.1017/S0003055406062.
Iacus, Stefano M., King, Gary, and Porro, Guiseppe. 2012. “Causal Inference without Balance Checking: Coarsened Exact Matching.Political Analysis 20, no. 1: 124. doi: 10.1093/pan/mpr013.
Imbens, Guido W., and Angrist, Joshua D.. 1994. “Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects.Econometrica 62, no. 2: 467–75. doi: 10.2307/2951620.
Keen, David. 2005. Conflict and Collusion in Sierra Leone. Oxford, UK: James Currey Publishers.
Kerr, Norbert L., Rumble, Ann C., Park, Ernest S., Ouwerkerk, Japp W., Parks, Craig D., Gallucci, Marcello, and van Lange, Paul A. M.. 2009. “How Many Bad Apples Does It Take to Spoil the Whole Barrel? Social Exclusion and Toleration for Bad Apples.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, no. 4: 603–13. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.02.017.
Koos, Carlo. 2017. “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts: Research Progress and Remaining Gaps.Third World Quarterly 38, no. 9: 1935–51. doi: 10.1080/01436597.2017.1322461.
Koos, Carlo. 2018a. “Replication Data for: Decay or Resilience? The Long-Term Social Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone.” Harvard Dataverse, V. 1. doi: 10.7910/DVN/3ISXG0.
Koos, Carlo. 2018b. Supplementary material for “Decay or Resilience? The Long- Term Social Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone.” At https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043887117000351.
Leiby, Michele L. 2009. “Wartime Sexual Violence in Guatemala and Peru.International Studies Quarterly 53, no. 2: 445–68. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2009.00541.x.
MacKenzie, Megan H. 2012. Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development. New York, N.Y.: New York University Press.
Maner, Jon K., DeWall, C. Nathan, Baumeister, Roy F., and Schaller, Mark. 2007. “Does Social Exclusion Motivate Interpersonal Reconnection? Resolving the ‘Porcupine Problem’.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92, no. 1: 4255. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.1.42.
Millar, Gearoid. 2012. “‘Our brothers who went to the bush’: Post-Identity Conflict and the Experience of Reconciliation in Sierra Leone.Journal of Peace Research 49, no. 5: 717–29. doi: 10.1177/0022343312440114.
Mills, Elizabeth, Nesbitt-Ahmed, Zahrah, Diggins, Jennifer, and Mackieu, Tamba David. 2015. “‘They Call Me Warrior’: The Legacy of Conflict and the Struggle to End Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Sierra Leone.” IDS Evidence Report 155. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. At http://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/123456789/7106, accessed December 6 2017.
Mitton, Kieran. 2015. Rebels in a Rotten State: Understanding Atrocity in the Sierra Leone Civil War. London, UK: Hurst.
Molden, Daniel C., and Maner, Jon K.. 2013. “How and When Exclusion Motivates Social Reconnection.” In, DeWall, C. Nathan, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Social Exclusion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Morgan, Stephan, and Winship, Christopher. 2014. Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Mukamana, Donatilla, and Brysiewicz, Petra. 2008. “The Lived Experience of Genocide Rape Survivors in Rwanda.Journal of Nursing Scholarship 40, no. 4: 379–84. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2008.00253.x.
Pearl, Judea. 2009. Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Peters, Krijn. 2011. War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone, 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Physicians for Human Rights. 2002. War-Related Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone: A Population-Based Assessment. Boston, Mass.: Physicians for Human Rights.
Portes, Alejandro. 1998. “Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology.Annual Review of Sociology 24, no. 1: 124. doi: 10.1146/annurev.soc.24.1.1.
Putnam, Robert D. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Raleigh, Clionadh, and De Bruijne, Kars. 2015. “Where Rebels Dare to Tread: A Study of Conflict Geography and Co-option of Local Power in Sierra Leone.Journal of Conflict Resolution 61, no. 6: 1230–60. doi: 10.1177/0022002715603767.
Richards, Paul. 1996. Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth & Resources in Sierra Leone. London, UK: International African Institute.
Rohner, Dominic, Thoenig, Mathias, and Zilibotti, Fabrizio. 2013. “Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda.Journal of Economic Growth 18, no. 3: 217–52. doi: 10.1007/s10887-013-9093-1.
Schroeder, David A., and Graziano, William G.. 2015a. “The Field of Prosocial Behavior.” In Schroeder, David A. and Graziano, William G., eds. The Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behavior. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Schroeder, David A. and Graziano, William G.., eds. 2015b. The Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behavior. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Shih, Margaret. 2004. “Positive Stigma: Examining Resilience and Empowerment in Overcoming Stigma.Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 591, no. 1: 175–85. doi: 10.1177/0002716203260099.
Sideris, Tina. 2003. “War, Gender and Culture: Mozambican Women Refugees.Social Science & Medicine 56, no. 4: 713–24. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00067-9.
Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 2004. “Chapter 3: Women and the Armed Conflict in Sierra Leone.” In Witness to Truth, Volume 3B. At http://www.sierraleonetrc.org/index.php/view-report-text-vol-3b/item/volume-three-b-chapter-three, accessed December 6, 2017.
Sivakumaran, Sandesh. 2007. “Sexual Violence against Men in Armed Conflict.European Journal of International Law 18, no. 2: 253–76. doi: 10.1093/ejil/chm013.
Skjelsbaek, Inger. 2006. “Victim and Survivor: Narrated Social Identities of Women Who Experienced Rape During the War in Bosnia-Herzegovina.Feminism & Psychology 16, no. 4: 373403. doi: 10.1177/0959353506068746.
Sovey, Allison J., and Green, Donald P.. 2011. “Instrumental Variables Estimation in Political Science: A Readers’ Guide.American Journal of Political Science 55, no. 1: 188200. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2010.00477.x.
Stark, Lindsay. 2006. “Cleansing the Wounds of War: An Examination of Traditional Healing, Psychosocial Health and Reintegration in Sierra Leone.Intervention 4, no. 3: 206–18. doi: 10.1097/WTF.0b013e328011a7d2.
Statistics Sierra Leone. 2011. Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey (SLIHS) 2011. Ref. SLE _2011_SLI HS_v01_M. At http://catalog.ihsn.org/index.php/catalog/4799/study-description#page=accesspolicy&tab=study-desc, accessed January 5, 2018.
Theidon, Kimberly. 2006. “Justice in Transition: The Micropolitics of Reconciliation in Postwar Peru.Journal of Conflict Resolution 50, no. 3: 433–57. doi: 10.1177/0022002706286954.
Theidon, Kimberly. 2012. Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru. Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Trenholm, J. E., Olsson, P., and Ahlberg, B. M.. 2011. “Battles on Women's Bodies: War, Rape and Traumatisation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.Global Public Health 6, no. 2: 139–52. doi: 10.1080/17441690903212065.
UNFPA. 2012. “Women Are the Fabric: Reproductive Health for Communities in Crisis.” New York, N.Y.: United Nations Population Fund. At http://www.unfpa.org/publications/women-are-fabric, accessed December 7, 2017.
UNHCR. 2008. “Sierra Leonean Refugees in Guinea Advised on End of their Status.” UN High Commissioner for Refugees. At http://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2008/7/4890898c4/sierra-leonean-refugees-guinea-advised-end-status.html, accessed December 7, 2017.
Utas, Mats. 2009. “Sexual Abuse Survivors and the Complex of Traditional Healing. (G)Local Prospects in the Aftermath of an African War.” NAI Policy Dialog. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiksa Afrikainstitutet.
van Rijn, Fédes, Bulte, Erwin, and Adekunle, Adewale. 2012. “Social Capital and Agricultural Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa.Agricultural Systems 108, April: 112–22. doi: 10.1016/j.agsy.2011.12.003.
Voors, Maarten J., and Bulte, Erwin H.. 2014. “Conflict and the Evolution of Institutions: Unbundling Institutions at the Local Level in Burundi.Journal of Peace Research 51, no. 4: 455–69. doi: 10.1177/0022343314531264.
Voors, Maarten J., Eleonora E. M. Nillesen, Verwimp, Philip, Bulte, Erwin H., Lensink, Robert, and Van Soest, Daan P.. 2012. “Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi.American Economic Review 102, no. 2: 941–64. doi: 10.1257/aer.102.2.941.
Weinstein, Jeremy M. 2005. “Resources and the Information Problem in Rebel Recruitment.Journal of Conflict Resolution 49, no. 4: 598624. doi: 10.1177/0022002705277802.
Winter, David A., Brown, Rachel, Goins, Stephanie, and Mason, Clare. 2016. Trauma, Survival and Resilience in War Zones: The Psychological Impact of War in Sierra Leone and Beyond. London, UK: Routledge.
Wood, Elisabeth Jean. 2009. “Armed Groups and Sexual Violence: When Is Wartime Rape Rare?Politics & Society 37, no. 1: 131–61. doi: 10.1177/0032329208329755.
Wood, Elisabeth Jean. 2015. “Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and the Policy Implications of Recent Research.International Review of the Red Cross 96, no. 894: 457–78. doi: 10.1017/S1816383115000077.
Woolcock, Michael, and Narayan, Deepa. 2000. “Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy.World Bank Research Observer 15, no. 2: 225–49. At http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/961231468336675195/Social-capital-implications-for-development-theory-research-and-policy, accessed December 7, 2017.
Zack-Williams, Alfred B. 1999. “Sierra Leone: The Political Economy of Civil War, 1991–98.Third World Quarterly 20, no. 1: 143–62. doi: 10.1080/01436599913965.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World Politics
  • ISSN: 0043-8871
  • EISSN: 1086-3338
  • URL: /core/journals/world-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Koos supplementary material
Koos supplementary material 1

 PDF (4.8 MB)
4.8 MB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Koos supplementary material
Koos supplementary material 2

 PDF (77 KB)
77 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed