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Gendercide is a neologism that refers to the systematic killing of members of a specific sex.[1]


Gendercide is gender-selective mass killing. The term was first used by Mary Anne Warren in her 1985 book, Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection. Warren drew "an analogy between the concept of genocide" and what she called "gendercide." Citing the Oxford English Dictionary definition of genocide as "the deliberate extermination of a race of people," Warren wrote:

By analogy, gendercide would be the deliberate extermination of persons of a particular sex (or gender). Other terms, such as "gynocide" and "femicide," have been used to refer to the wrongful killing of girls and women. But "gendercide" is a sex-neutral term, in that the victims may be either male or female. There is a need for such a sex-neutral term, since sexually discriminatory killing is just as wrong when the victims happen to be male. The term also calls attention to the fact that gender roles have often had lethal consequences, and that these are in important respects analogous to the lethal consequences of racial, religious, and class prejudice.

Warren explored the deliberate extermination of women through analysis of such subjects as female infanticide, maternal death, witch-hunts in early modern Europe, and other atrocities and abuses against women.


Femicide is defined as the systematic killing of women for various reasons, usually cultural. The word is attested from the 1820s.[2]

The most widespread form of femicide is in the form of sex-selective infanticide in cultures with strong preferences for male offspring.

There have been reports of femicide in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.[3] The murders in Juarez, also known as las muertas de Juárez ("The dead women of Juárez"), and Guatemala were reportedly not investigated by the local authorities. Most of the women were raped before being murdered and some were mutilated, tortured, and dismembered. In Guatemala City, about 20% of the over 500 women murdered in 2004 and 2005 were killed in pairs, due to a (lesbian) "intimate relationship", according to Claudia Acevedo of Lesbiradas.[citation needed]


Viricide is the systematic killing of men for various reasons, usually cultural. Viricide may happen during war to reduce an enemy's potential pool of soldiers.

Viricide as a common practice continued in ancient times. Mythological accounts of the Greek takeover of Miletus in circa 9th century BCE have the legendary son of Poseidon leading a massacre of the men of Miletus and settling the city in the Milesian men's stead.[4]

Biblical viricides include the Massacre of the Innocents recounted in the Book of Matthew although many modern scholars consider that this may be apocryphal [5], and the avenging of Dinah.

Pakistan targeted male intellectuals for extermination in the erstwhile province of East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh) during the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities.[6] Pol Pot executed many men in Cambodia, resulting in a large percentage of Cambodia's population afterwards being women.[7] During the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots men were targeted overwhelmingly on account of them being breadwinners of the family.[7] More recent examples include the 1988 Anfal campaign against Kurdish men and boys[8][9] in Iraq and the Srebrenica massacre of Bosniak men and boys on July 12, 1995.[10][11]

See also

• A comprehensive analysis of gendercide in China was delivered by author Talia Carner at the 2007 U.N. Commission on the Status of Women[12]


  1. Warren, Mary Anne. Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection. ISBN 0847673308.
  2. 2006 Random House Unabridged Dictionary
  3. Femicide and Gender Violence in Mexico, retrieved on May 28, 2007.
  4. 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
  5. Robert Eisenman, James The Brother of Jesus, 1997, I.3 "Romans, Herodians and Jewish sects" discusses Mariamne, the last representative of the Maccabean line, by whom Herod had two sons, whom he put to death. "Here Herod really did kill all the Jewish children who sought to replace him, as Matthew 2:17 would have it, but these were rather his own children with Maccabean blood!" (p. 49); see also E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, 87-88
  6. Rounaq Jahan, "Genocide in Bangladesh", in Samuel Totten et al., eds., Century of Genocide, p298. R.J. Rummel writes: "By November [1971], the rebel guerrillas ... had wrested from the army control over 25 percent of East Pakistan, a success that led the Pakistan army to seek out those especially likely to join the resistance -- young boys. Sweeps were conducted of young men who were never seen again. Bodies of youths would be found in fields, floating down rivers, or near army camps. As can be imagined, this terrorized all young men and their families within reach of the army. Most between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five began to flee from one village to another and toward India. Many of those reluctant to leave their homes were forced to flee by mothers and sisters concerned for their safety." Rummel, Death By Government (New Brunswick, USA: Transaction Publishers, 1994), p329.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jones, Adam (June 2000). "Gendercide and Genocide". Journal of Genocide Research 2 (2): 185–211. doi:10.1080/713677599.
  8. The Crimes of Saddam Hussein
  9. Koreme Before The Anfal Campaign
  10. Srebrenica Timeline
  11. Serbians Still Divided Over Srebrenica Massacre


  • Warren, Mary Anne (1985). Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection. Rowman & Allanheld. ISBN 0847673308.
  • Russell, Diana E.H., ed.; Roberta A. Harmes (2001). Femicide in Global Perspective. Teachers College Press. ISBN 0807740470.
  • Sanford, Victoria (2008). Guatemala : Del Genocidio Al Feminicidio/From Genocide to Femicide. F&G Editores. ISBN 9992261889.

External links

ca:Feminicidi da:Femicide de:Gendercide es:Femicidio eu:Feminizidio fr:Gynécide ko:젠더사이드 zh:性别灭绝

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