Queering terrorism

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There are few theoretical and empirical researches on sexual fluidity and sexual victimization against men inside terrorist groups. Drawing from the case of Islamic terrorists group (Boko Haram), queer theory, and discursive accounts of male survivors, NGOs and security agents, I argue that Boko Haram’s rape of men and boys, whether collectively or individually, exposes their sexual fluidity. The reconstruction of acceptable sexual norms, syncretism due to the existence of same-sex subculture in Lake Chad, and hypocrisy explain their sexual variability. This study adds to the growing body of knowledge on the dynamics of sexuality and terrorism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Early online date3 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is part of a larger project on “Masculinity, Male Bodies, and Victimhood in the Context of Counter-Terrorism in North-Eastern Nigeria,” which is funded by an American Council of Learned Societies/African Humanities Program postdoctoral scholarship. The fellowship was hosted at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. My sincere appreciation goes to Remi E. Aiyede, the current Head of Department, as well as Adigun Agbaje, Olajide O. Akanji, David U. Enweremadu, Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe, and other members of staff. I am grateful to Victor Asal, Kudus Adebayo, Isaac Dery, Joshua Akintayo, Tosin Orimolade, Animpuye Apuye Lewis, and the anonymous peer reviewers for their support and helpful feedback. Idris Mohammed deserves special recognition for his outstanding research assistance. This paper was presented at the International Conference on Gender and Responding to Violent Extremism (GARVE) Network on November 23–24, 2021. I thank the discussants and other conference participants for their remarks.


  • Terrorism
  • sexuality
  • Gender-based violence
  • Queer
  • Counter-terrorism
  • queer theory/politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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