Gendered Terrorism: The Link Between Sex and Organized Violence

  • Regina Theresa Noonan Boston College
Keywords: masculinity, terrorism


Scholars cite religion, foreign occupation, economic destitution, and lack of opportunity as reasons for terrorism, but gender and masculinity are nearly absent from the conversation. Does masculinity shape the societal structures that foster terrorism? Examining the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) in Northern Ireland demonstrates how masculinity establishes the physical spaces that radicalize men and exclude women. It is the force that propels group radicalization and tears apart societies. In scholarship, masculinity is obscured by colonialism and nationalism, but examining masculinity closer illuminates societal constructions that have deep, violent, and political consequences.

Author Biography

Regina Theresa Noonan, Boston College
Regina Noonan graduated in the spring of 2017 and is now working as the Research Director for the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. While at Boston College, Regina majored in International Studies with a concentration in Ethics and Gender and minored in History and English. The lens of gender served as an entry point for many of Regina’s intellectual pursuits, including her essay in this issue. She was awarded the Janet Wilson James Award for distinguished scholarship in Women’s and Gender Studies.



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How to Cite
Noonan, R. T. (2018). Gendered Terrorism: The Link Between Sex and Organized Violence. Elements, 13(2).