During the last decade alone, it is estimated that tens of thousands of children have been born worldwide as a result of wartime rape and sexual exploitation, yet we know very little about these living legacies of sexual violence. I complement research in Peru with comparative data to explore four themes. Influenced by encouragement to “break the silence,” the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission actively sought out first-person accounts of rape, which is understood to be the emblematic womanly wound of war. I analyze what a focus on rape and sexual violence brings into our field of vision and what it may obscure. I turn next to local biology and theories of transmission. Children conceived through rape face stigma and infanticide in many societies, which in part reflects the theories of transmission that operate in any given social context. Theories of transmission lead to “strategic pregnancies” as women seek to exert some control over their reproduction and identify the father of their child. The effort to determine paternity involves names and naming practices and the patriarchal law of the father. I conclude with questions to assist in making these issues part of the anthropological research agenda.
Theidon, K. (2016). Ocultos a plena luz: Los niños nacidos de la violencia sexual en tiempos de guerra. Analisis Politico, 28(85), 158–172. https://doi.org/10.15446/anpol.v28n85.56252