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"Sex and World Peace" unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and "Sex and World Peace" unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all.


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"Sex and World Peace" unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and "Sex and World Peace" unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all.

30 review for Sex and World Peace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    There have been very few books that have actually changed my mindset, and really changed the way I view the world. The first, The Pearl, by Steinbeck, the second, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and third, Sex and World Peace. This book is a must read. It really changed the way I view international relations. It completely convinced me that promoting women's rights by beginning with securing their safety will dramatically change the face of international conflict. There have been very few books that have actually changed my mindset, and really changed the way I view the world. The first, The Pearl, by Steinbeck, the second, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and third, Sex and World Peace. This book is a must read. It really changed the way I view international relations. It completely convinced me that promoting women's rights by beginning with securing their safety will dramatically change the face of international conflict.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zawn V

    Utterly dreadful. There are much better introductions to feminism and world politics than this nearly worthless volume. Despite extensive endnotes, this book makes tons of unsupported claims, and reads like it was written by a high school student. For example, the authors repeatedly claim that "evolutionary theory" supports a theory wherein men structure power such that they can dominate women. Cringe. Some philosophies derived from evolutionary theory argue this, yes, but evolutionary theory its Utterly dreadful. There are much better introductions to feminism and world politics than this nearly worthless volume. Despite extensive endnotes, this book makes tons of unsupported claims, and reads like it was written by a high school student. For example, the authors repeatedly claim that "evolutionary theory" supports a theory wherein men structure power such that they can dominate women. Cringe. Some philosophies derived from evolutionary theory argue this, yes, but evolutionary theory itself is remarkably silent on feminism, as it should be. And pretending that evolutionary theory is a monolith offering normative claims about politics is amateurish, ignorant of the most basic science, and painful to read. More unsupported arguments: the authors refer to "tribal societies" throughout the book as if all such societies are the same, and have no data available to back many of their claims about these societies. It's like the new agers who talk about "Native American culture" as if such culture is homogenous. It's as if the the authors have never heard about that whole ethnocentrism issue that western feminists have to grapple with. In fact, the entire book reads like intersectionality isn't a thing. Moreover, this book is little more than a feminism 101 primer. And the book's central claim -- that women's equality is central to world peace -- is never even addressed, let alone proven. Instead, the authors simply spout off endless facts about the terrible state of women worldwide. And there's something almost racist in their tone. The book reads sort of like the authors believe life for American women is great, but those international barbarians do nothing but abuse women. Horrible and potentially dangerous. Worst book I've read in a while.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Once again, book club has broadened my horizons. This book is not always an easy read. I found chapter four particularly difficult to get through. It is written the most like a text book and had tons of statistics, maps, and charts, all of which were important. The chapters before and after are captivating and horrifying. I am amazed at how much this book made me think. I want my girls to understand how much they have to contribute and how important their voices are to society. The idea that was Once again, book club has broadened my horizons. This book is not always an easy read. I found chapter four particularly difficult to get through. It is written the most like a text book and had tons of statistics, maps, and charts, all of which were important. The chapters before and after are captivating and horrifying. I am amazed at how much this book made me think. I want my girls to understand how much they have to contribute and how important their voices are to society. The idea that was most prevalent in the book is.....cultures and societies that have equal rights, protection, and opportunities for both the sexes are more peaceful. There are many horrific examples of sex selective abortions, murders, rape, child brides and honor killings to create a vision of wanting to help these atrocities to end. Violence against women isn't only in foreign lands but here in our country as well. I loved the point that the author made about men and women are different but their rights and opportunities should be equal. A must read....but be prepared it is graphic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Got a gift from my son for Xmas Definitely a keeper (the book, and the son)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Thanks for the recommendation, Gloria Steinem!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Teo Mechea

    The introduction is a bit over-zealous and can seem far-fetched, thus I understand why so many reviewers here were put off by this book and never got past the first pages. However, I urge everyone to get passed it because the claims it makes are well supported, thoroughly researched and very well presented throughout the book though real cases, statistics and charts. The tone is that of an academic paper, although is very easy to read and understand, as it does a great job in explaining and usag The introduction is a bit over-zealous and can seem far-fetched, thus I understand why so many reviewers here were put off by this book and never got past the first pages. However, I urge everyone to get passed it because the claims it makes are well supported, thoroughly researched and very well presented throughout the book though real cases, statistics and charts. The tone is that of an academic paper, although is very easy to read and understand, as it does a great job in explaining and usage of accessible terminology. To be honest, the first chapters of this book are pretty hard to read because they lay down the basis for the discourse that follows. This basis consists of a number of real-life cases of abuse from rape, murder, disfiguration and prolonged torture of women and children. As I went through them I felt sick and wept many times because even though I knew that these realities happen everyday somewhere in the world, reading the names and specific torments of these individualised women gives these accounts of horror much more personal perspectives. However, I really felt that I must read through each and every one of them as this was perhaps the only way I could contribute to some form of justice - to acknowledge their struggles and understand the conditions in which they happened and why. As the book progresses, it gives out clear statistics to put these accounts in the bigger picture and rigorously asserts the issues and categorises them in support of the premise of the researcher's claim: that “we can no longer speak, in the same breath, about the security of women” (p. 208) The book unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and factual cases. They tackle complex inequalities like patrilocality, marital abuse, child brides, genital mutilation, femicide, maternal mortality, sex labour, wage gap, sex education, STD rates, contraception access, psychological dominance, the failure of the law system to implement punishment for perpetrators and societal and religious norms imposed on women. The overarching premise of the book argues that the security of women is violated. They complexly identify three specific forms of micro-aggression against women that in their theory account for the majority of the horrors against women. These are: “(1) lack of bodily integrity and physical security, (2) lack of equity in family law, and (3) lack of parity in the councils of human decision-making”. The book then proceeds to document how solving these three main issues might help the whole situation of women worldwide. These claims, certainly, are not without centuries of precedent, as feminist scholars and activists have long pointed out. As Simone de Beauvoir, observed in The Second Sex regarding relations between the sexes - “All oppression creates a state of war. And this is no exception”. The best thing about this book is that it not only exposes the situation from a multitude of angles and from a micro and macro perspective, but it also has an entire chapter on SOLUTIONS on how to recognise and ACT to help better the situation. Accessible actual ways to improve things on a small scale and on a daily basis that do not require anything more than a moral presence and a voice. It's true that it mostly focuses on the Arab and Asian world, as in these parts of the world the inequalities and oppression of the female sex is most evident, but it also presents statistics and facts from the countries who are thought to have the smallest gender gap, like Sweden or Norway. I was actually amazed to find out statistics about countries like Switzerland or Lichtenstein, which I previously thought as states with a high level of parity and social security for women. Oh was I wrong! Overall conclusion is that this is a book every citizen of the world we currently live in should read. Especially men. It's an eye opener and a solution-focused case study on a very real and tragic issue that affects the daily lives of half the World's population that, frankly, is a shame and a real abomination how we are still able to ignore it in today's world. I leave you with a quote: "When we contrast equality with inequality, we do not define “equality” as sameness or identity. Men and women do not have to be the same to be equal. One can have equality in the context of difference. Therefore, our definition of “inequality” does not denote difference per se; rather it refers to the subordination of one who is different."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Letitia

    This was a phenomenal book that collected years of interdisciplinary study into one cohesive exploration of the relationship between women's equality and the security or violence of a state. It was more dense and academic than I expected when I first heard of it, but well worth the effort. I have invested a lot of time in the study of women's rights, but I still learned many things I had not previously known, and was offered a different slant on how to perceive the above relationship. Due to bias This was a phenomenal book that collected years of interdisciplinary study into one cohesive exploration of the relationship between women's equality and the security or violence of a state. It was more dense and academic than I expected when I first heard of it, but well worth the effort. I have invested a lot of time in the study of women's rights, but I still learned many things I had not previously known, and was offered a different slant on how to perceive the above relationship. Due to bias and specialization, there is maybe too much emphasis placed on Islamic societies in this book. When you read the bios of the authors it makes sense, but it did give us the sense that neither the USA nor other regions of the world were being held as accountable to these issues as they should have been. Some scholars will also take issue with their default assumption that polygamy, prostitution, and pornography are signals of exploitation of women, though I think that in the context used, there is no misrepresentation. Initially I also thought perhaps the end was a bit too flowery, maybe too idyllic a representation of an equal society (they use a metaphor of a bird with two wings, one of which is wounded, and how it could soar were the other wing as strong), but actually after you slog through the immensity of data on violence against women and the global injustice perpetrated with regularity and impunity...you kind of need something beautiful and inspiring to get you to the end of the book. Like I said, intense read, but well worth it, and with some strong, notable quotes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Craig Packer

    It's going to take one helluva book to top Sex & World Peace as my favorite read of 2013. Whether it is the chapter dedicated to breaking down the evolutionary basis for patriarchy in our world, the global maps (not interactive) that drive home the current state of women around the world based on numerous robust--though still imperfect--data sets, or the authors' call to action for the future for individuals, organization, and nation states, the book is one of the most important contributions to It's going to take one helluva book to top Sex & World Peace as my favorite read of 2013. Whether it is the chapter dedicated to breaking down the evolutionary basis for patriarchy in our world, the global maps (not interactive) that drive home the current state of women around the world based on numerous robust--though still imperfect--data sets, or the authors' call to action for the future for individuals, organization, and nation states, the book is one of the most important contributions toward making the case for gender equality and ensuring the security of women around the globe in all of global women's rights literature. It is both scholarly rigorous for the expert and accessible to the layperson looking for an evidence-based primer on the issue of global gender equality, making this book a rare breed. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    One of the reasons I chose to read this book was that before beginning I thought I would disagree with what it says. I wanted to read something that would challenge my way of thinking, as well as help me become acquainted with the worldview of those with whom I disagree. I got the impression that this book would be based in feminist philosophy (not the same as good-for-women) and so it seemed like a good candidate. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a large amount of common ground. Large port One of the reasons I chose to read this book was that before beginning I thought I would disagree with what it says. I wanted to read something that would challenge my way of thinking, as well as help me become acquainted with the worldview of those with whom I disagree. I got the impression that this book would be based in feminist philosophy (not the same as good-for-women) and so it seemed like a good candidate. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a large amount of common ground. Large portions of the book focus on describing the horrible conditions that women suffer around the world, and on describing ways in which individuals and groups can engage to change the culture in these places in order to promote better treatment of women. I agree completely that there are places in the world where women's lives are made into horrors because of incorrect belief that they are inferior. I even learned some things that I did not previously know about women's lives in these regions, and I felt empathy towards the women described. In a later chapter where strategies for bottom-up efforts for change were discussed, I felt myself inspired and at times wanting to cheer vocally for the women in the stories that were shared who had the courage to stand up and be proactive in bettering their situations. These parts of the book dealt primarily with physical violence and inferior cultural status in places like Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and I think that they hit the nail on the head. In some of the same sections the author tried to describe oppression against women in terms of lack of political office held or lack of representation in economic modeling. I am unaware of the extent to which these things contribute in real ways to women's circumstances in other countries I cannot say, and it was not discussed in depth in the book. However, to the degree that the claim is that these are the forms through which women are oppressed in the United states, I think that more than anything they show a misunderstanding of economics and an incomplete representation of the political process on the part of the author. Economics is a description of the way groups of people respond to stimulus, and is most commonly thought of in terms of the market. It does not have goals built in, nor concepts of good and bad. Just like physics can be used as a tool in engineering, so can economics be used as a tool. But the goals of those who apply economics are not built into the tools of economics, just as the goals of the engineers are not built into physics. Additionally, the demand on workers to be in the home, or their ability to leave the home to work due to the help of others in the home, are reflected in the adjustments the market undergoes naturally as a response to these effects, regardless of the fact that the corresponding in-home activities are not explicitly represented in the theory. Thus, for the author to claim that women's goals, needs, and contributions are not taken into account in economic models reveals that she does not understand what economics is nor how it works. As to disparities in political office held, it seems that she not considered any possible explanations for the disparity beyond discrimination. For example, it is not unreasonable to think that biological differences producing different tendencies and proclivities account for at least part of the difference--that is to say, that less women are elected because less run for office, and that because fewer of them are interested in doing so. However, all of this comes up very little throughout the book, so it does not meaningfully detract from the book. The Reason for 1 Star: I gave this book one star because the analysis of the origin of the problem is essentially based on the same axioms as the Marxist doctrine, which are incorrect and represent an insufficient world view. Before the problem can be fixed at its root, the root must be properly understood. The analysis relies completely on the assumption that all of history can be properly understood as power struggles between warring classes--in this case, a power struggle between the classes of men and women. This view is very shallow. Although power is one important element of history, it is not the only important element, and to neglect all others necessarily leads to an incomplete picture. In this specific case, the power struggle is represented as a male dominance hierarchy. The description of this hierarchy depicts men as tyrants glutting themselves on the fruits of the work of women (no wonder most men don't like feminists), ignoring other important facts, such as the fact that the men often took upon themselves the most dangerous roles as hunters and defenders for the group, as well as the fact that women came to be naturally cherished for their unique motherly role. It also ignores the existence of hierarchies among women, and the potential problems of melding the two hierarchies together, given that they function in different ways. (This is all without mentioning the problems in her assumptions based on microaggression and her definitions laid out in chapter 1 implying that the nature of the genders is more malleable than it is.) This is not the place for a complete refutation of this Marxist doctrine. However, while reading the book I heard an interview of Camille Paglia by Jordan Peterson (https://spoti.fi/3eEixgB), in which many points are made which provide the beginnings of an argument against a Marxist world view. Only a short segment of the interview deals with feminism explicitly, but the majority of the discussion is relevant to the broader ideas of Marxism, postmodernism and improper focus on power as the exclusive driving force of history. I would recommend others listen to it if they are interested in understanding the problems with this world view. The crux of the book--and the promise of the title--is the connection between violence against women and the security of states. The connection is displayed empirically, but the theory explaining the connection is lacking. I think that violence against women is probably not related causally to the insecurity of states, but that they are correlated because both are symptoms of a deeper problem involving the breakdown of proper family structure. The way that societies view women is, of course, a part (though not the only part) of that family structure.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Siobhán

    This book is mostly an academic collection of evidence suggesting that Sex and World Peace are connected from single cases of gendered violence to nationstate-wide fails to protect women and girls. It is structured somewhat like a term paper, starting with definitions, explaining the methodology and presenting the evidence. There are numerous examples from all over the world supporting the claims, even though more examples could have been given. I also don't think that the partly focus on Islam This book is mostly an academic collection of evidence suggesting that Sex and World Peace are connected from single cases of gendered violence to nationstate-wide fails to protect women and girls. It is structured somewhat like a term paper, starting with definitions, explaining the methodology and presenting the evidence. There are numerous examples from all over the world supporting the claims, even though more examples could have been given. I also don't think that the partly focus on Islam is extremely fruitful, as other religions can be just as problematic. I didn't really get into the entire statistics thing because I didn't have the concentration span, but the evidence is overwhelming. And yet I'm not surprised. And again and again I am shocked that women only received the right to vote in Switzerland in 1971, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. My main issue with the book is that it doesn't take queer identities into account, at all. This is a major flaw and I believe that the evidence would be more sinister and dark... Many of the things there, however, apply to queer issues too. The part with concrete ideas how you can make things better can also be applied to more than just women. 4 Stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    This is clearly a well-researched book jammed full of facts and theories about how improving the lives of girls & women will make the world a better and more peaceful place. These are similar things to what is discussed in Melinda Gates' The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (which I loved) but is much more detailed and dives deeper. This is clearly a well-researched book jammed full of facts and theories about how improving the lives of girls & women will make the world a better and more peaceful place. These are similar things to what is discussed in Melinda Gates' The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (which I loved) but is much more detailed and dives deeper.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    This is a vital, edifying book that I really needed to read during this frankly terrible time. The pedagogical tone might be off-putting to some readers, but I found it readable and approachable, as well as methodical and clear. The theoretical foundations linking the establishment of violent patriarchy (manifested in physical insecurity and political precariousness of women) to insecurity of the state at the international level were lucid, and the review of the empirical data probing this relati This is a vital, edifying book that I really needed to read during this frankly terrible time. The pedagogical tone might be off-putting to some readers, but I found it readable and approachable, as well as methodical and clear. The theoretical foundations linking the establishment of violent patriarchy (manifested in physical insecurity and political precariousness of women) to insecurity of the state at the international level were lucid, and the review of the empirical data probing this relationship was compelling, careful, and nuanced. One key contribution of this book is the explication of violent patriarchy's origins in evolutionary theory. The authors first address the facile misunderstanding that biology set down immutable, caricaturish sex roles (that is, aggressive men and submissive women) that echo through generations, and that reflect our true natures, regardless of any social reforms we may attempt to enact. Rather, they establish convincingly that violent patriarchy is the means set into play by the motive of male desire to control female sexuality, in order to combat female monopoly of genetic reproduction. Patriarchy became a self-propagating strategy as men controlled access to resources, directed the destiny of women via patrilocality (women leaving their natal families to join their husband's family), created alliances with other men even to the degree of sometimes harming men to ensure practices that would further disadvantage women, and always maintaining at least the threat of physical violence over women who might attempt to fight back. The evidence that this constant oppression of women also created endocrine changes, potentially heritable, as well as selecting for aggressiveness in males over time, only makes this explication more necessary and captivating (if infuriating). The thesis that "when evolutionary forces predisposing to violent patriarchy are not checked through the use of cultural selection and social learning to ameliorate gender inequality, dysfunctional templates of violence and control diffuse throughout society and are manifested in state security and behavior" is lucid, and compellingly developed in the introduction, theoretical chapters, and conclusion. Beyond this, the development of comprehensive data sets that measure the physical security, societal valuation, and civic participation of women across the globe were fascinating and set the stage for further study and revelation. I agree that the preliminary empirical results are consistent with the hypotheses advanced. Additionally, as a student of international relations during the mid-2000s, this volume's examination of the Islamic world was of particular interest. IR can be kind of insane in invoking theories, such as Huntington's clash of civilizations, that can be frankly culturally insensitive or even backward, in my opinion. This book provided a great service by carefully establishing that there is no monolithic female experience in Islamic countries, and by showing that while democratic norms and prosperity can have decent predictive value of a country's peacefulness (though not as great a predictive value as the security of women), prevalence of Islam is not a useful predictor for international peacefulness. There were some devastating ironies in reading this volume (written during the Obama administration) today. First, there were several examples of "left" or liberal men deciding women's issues were simply special interest baggage irrelevant to broader security concerns, despite convincing evidence that bolstering the status of women would only aid in that shared goal. Most of all, though, the idea that aggressive men with a history of violence towards women, in alliance with men and women who fundamentally consider such violence acceptable, are ~theoretically~ more likely to be imprudently bellicose on the international plane... feels now, given the proclivities of a certain tweeter-in-chief, like the too-late pronouncement from the Institute of Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Surprisingly Obvious. Nonetheless, I will try not to give in to despair. There is much to be done to improve the status of girls and women in our world, and the reminder that such an outcome would truly result in a better world for us all is bracing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I don’t know why this isn’t required reading in universities, for politicians, for journalists, for religious leaders, for teachers, for the military, for parents, for the general public. This explores the correlation between how women are treated and with how much equity, and peace and state security. The authors show that societies and states where women do not have equity in law, where they are not physically safe and secure, and where they are not part of human decision-making councils, are I don’t know why this isn’t required reading in universities, for politicians, for journalists, for religious leaders, for teachers, for the military, for parents, for the general public. This explores the correlation between how women are treated and with how much equity, and peace and state security. The authors show that societies and states where women do not have equity in law, where they are not physically safe and secure, and where they are not part of human decision-making councils, are always more insecure, poorer, and more likely to be at war. Furthermore, children always suffer for it too and are more susceptible to abuse and death. They also show that, where the opposite is true - where there is equity, where there is autonomy and safety for women, and where they are involved in decision making from household level to government, states are more secure, richer, safer, better educated, and far less likely to go to war - and children are also healthier, safer, kinder, and smarter. It also shows how, when women are educated, when they are aware of their rights, and when they have total reproductive freedom, there is no population problem because women then tend to have fewer children - therefore it is better for biodiversity and the environment and planet in general. Unless you’re some sort of psychopath, it will make you extremely angry as the authors explore what is still happening to women and girls around the world, and the effect this has on state security. It has more of an effect on peace and security than actual world war does. If you have experienced physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse - particularly from men (or even from women who are holding up the abusive practices of patriarchies) - you might find it very triggering, just to warn you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Thomas

    This book should be required reading for every single person alive today. It lays out the issues that women and girls face throughout the world and how that affects their state security. Although it contains a lot of heavy and graphic material, I left feeling an extreme sense of motivation to follow their suggestions on how to make a difference.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nina W

    DNF around 40%. Some of the conclusions seem to go beyond the evidence supports, and the book is too academic for me to be able to easily assess whether this is the case. That significantly reduces the value I get from reading it, and given the academic style it's a bit of a slog, so I'm going to save myself the effort and read something else! DNF around 40%. Some of the conclusions seem to go beyond the evidence supports, and the book is too academic for me to be able to easily assess whether this is the case. That significantly reduces the value I get from reading it, and given the academic style it's a bit of a slog, so I'm going to save myself the effort and read something else!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kennedy Hansen

    I think this book was brilliant and taught me so much. A must read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark Denney

    After reading a review from Gloria Steinem. I decided to read this book, and frankly I could not put it down. It brought me awareness to the atrocities that still happen throughout the world to women, and also showed that we still even have got a long way to go in the United States. At times necessarily graphic, I was exposed to a part of the world that is still horrific and must be changed so that all can thrive. As the book explains and recommends, humans are not living to their potential beca After reading a review from Gloria Steinem. I decided to read this book, and frankly I could not put it down. It brought me awareness to the atrocities that still happen throughout the world to women, and also showed that we still even have got a long way to go in the United States. At times necessarily graphic, I was exposed to a part of the world that is still horrific and must be changed so that all can thrive. As the book explains and recommends, humans are not living to their potential because of the suffering and thus the human race is not living at it's potential.

  18. 5 out of 5

    jill

    A must read for all women and MEN. An eyeopening book about violence against women around the world and how it effects National and International security. It is not just an issue for women but for all human kind. The author uses research to give credibility to her theories and concludes with concrete suggestions for changing the state of the women's lives around the world. Though a long and difficult read at times it is well worth the time and effort to read in its entirety. A must read for all women and MEN. An eyeopening book about violence against women around the world and how it effects National and International security. It is not just an issue for women but for all human kind. The author uses research to give credibility to her theories and concludes with concrete suggestions for changing the state of the women's lives around the world. Though a long and difficult read at times it is well worth the time and effort to read in its entirety.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Patterson

    Wow. What a book. Some parts are very graphic and gave me a stomach ache, but I think it's important that we understand the evils of this world we live in so that we can make a difference for good. This book has broaden my eyes and inspired me to really make a difference with the small things I say and do. I recommend to all citizens of this world. Wow. What a book. Some parts are very graphic and gave me a stomach ache, but I think it's important that we understand the evils of this world we live in so that we can make a difference for good. This book has broaden my eyes and inspired me to really make a difference with the small things I say and do. I recommend to all citizens of this world.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily Andrews

    this was very informative. most books that I read with a feminist viewpoint are first hand accounts and stories from survivors. this was the first one I have seen that is almost strictly analytical and boils it down to numbers, which give credence to personal stories. I also liked how they came at it. both genders are needed, working in harmony for a better world. 3.5

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    An important and eye-opening read (especially Chapter 2). We have to empower women around the world if we want to build better communities and stronger international relationships. Sign me up! The only downside: a few comments about Islam I felt were harsh and one-sided. That was a bummer.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

    I came to this book through Hudson’s” Bare Branches”, which although not perfect, did leave me intrigued enough as to the relationship between women’s status and stability within a society. These authors seek to flesh out that question. Although recognizing the limits of statistical correlation in proving causation, the authors show the reader that there is a greater correlation between a state’s stability and the physical security of women in its borders than with either the level of democracy I came to this book through Hudson’s” Bare Branches”, which although not perfect, did leave me intrigued enough as to the relationship between women’s status and stability within a society. These authors seek to flesh out that question. Although recognizing the limits of statistical correlation in proving causation, the authors show the reader that there is a greater correlation between a state’s stability and the physical security of women in its borders than with either the level of democracy or of wealth, dismissing the idea that improvement in women’s lives will come automatically with economic progress of the nation as a whole. The authors also address head-on the idea that it is only Islamic countries that are failing women, showing a greater correlation between the state’s stability and unequal family law than with prevalence of Islam, indicating sources other than Sharia law in reducing the status and protection of women in society. However, while I recognize the need to see the plight of women in more than just statistics, I do think that some, by no means all, of the space dedicated to sharing horrific stories of abuse could have been better employed otherwise. One point in particular that I hoped to see more of was on the implications made by the wonderful maps showing the variety of progress, or lack thereof, made in women’s status in all the countries of the world. The authors rightly point out the difference between having laws in the books and their enforcement, another interesting aspect highlighted in these maps. However, some interesting deficiencies in “advanced democracies” left me wanting for more information and analysis. Nonetheless, the book as a whole was a deeply-researched look into the continuing work that needs to go into elevating women’s status. The authors point out both the advantages and limits of both top-down and bottom-up approaches and call for a mix of both strategies in culturally-competent yet creative ways in order to ensure that all people everywhere flourish.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela

    I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, it provides an overview of the ways in which gender dynamics impact peace and security and top-down and bottom-up approaches to combat these dynamics which perpetuate gender-based violence. What stuck with me the most was the statistical analysis on the security of women in relation to the security of states. That said, there were two repeated issues that I had with the book that made it frustrating to read. First, the book constantly I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, it provides an overview of the ways in which gender dynamics impact peace and security and top-down and bottom-up approaches to combat these dynamics which perpetuate gender-based violence. What stuck with me the most was the statistical analysis on the security of women in relation to the security of states. That said, there were two repeated issues that I had with the book that made it frustrating to read. First, the book constantly reverts to assumptions of gender binaries and interchangeably uses sex and gender. The experiences of trans and non-binary folks are erased from this otherwise comprehensive narrative. A more appropriate title for this book would be “Ciswomen and World Peace.” Second, while this book cited many cases of successful top-down and bottom-up strategies that advanced the status of women in the global south lead by these same women, I was frustrated by the constant examples of violence coming largely from Islamic countries. Although this book critiques the gendered practices of many countries across the globe, including those of the United States and Western Europe, the repeated use of Islamic countries as case studies left me wishing to hear more from the voices of women from these countries, rather than very brief examples from white authors. Overall, this book makes a compelling case for the importance of combatting gender-based violence and gender inequity while advancing peace and security. That said, in its ambitions to create wide sweeping calls to action at the local and global levels, it marginalized many identities through poor choice of language or lack of nuance when required.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This book is primarily an academic argument for the link between women's security and the security of a nation. The authors repeatedly acknowledge that it is not the only factor but that policy makers must include the well-being of women when making decisions, both in relations with other countries and within a country. The book was incredible. It outlined several of the major injustices faced by women, both from a structural/government level and micro-level of gender violence and what should be This book is primarily an academic argument for the link between women's security and the security of a nation. The authors repeatedly acknowledge that it is not the only factor but that policy makers must include the well-being of women when making decisions, both in relations with other countries and within a country. The book was incredible. It outlined several of the major injustices faced by women, both from a structural/government level and micro-level of gender violence and what should be done to help these women and therefore help the entire country. While the book seems primarily directed at policy makers, it spoke to me. They outline both bottom-up and top-down approaches to fix the problems. I'm new to this topic so it may just because of that, but they were incredible and some were completely new to me! There was the typical education and no early marriage (something most people, hopefully, already agree will help) but other ideas like having a male and female in all governmental roles. Every person should read this book; both to understand from a governmental perspective the importance of including the security of women in decisions but also on a personal level. I developed a better understanding of just how hard this world is for most women and the things I can do to help. Read this book right now!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex Carlson

    Sex & World Peace is an insightful read about how there is a direct link between societies that trend toward peace and how those societies treat women. Specifically the authors argue that in order for a society to become more peaceful, women need to have better standing in family law, better representation in government, and better laws against domestic violence. The authors bring in a mountain of evidence (the last third of the book is endnotes and works cited) to support their claim among a mix Sex & World Peace is an insightful read about how there is a direct link between societies that trend toward peace and how those societies treat women. Specifically the authors argue that in order for a society to become more peaceful, women need to have better standing in family law, better representation in government, and better laws against domestic violence. The authors bring in a mountain of evidence (the last third of the book is endnotes and works cited) to support their claim among a mix of anecdotes from interviews with women around the world. Some of their arguments are common sense - lower domestic violence rates correlate with lower incidences of military aggression - and others are revelatory - quotas on women in elected office triggers greater peace. I would not recommend reading this in one sitting and some of the chapters, especially when they dig into their statistical models are very dry and could use fewer words and more imagery. Similarly some of the anecdotes about poor treatment of women in developing nations seem to exist for shock value more than to further any particular argument. However, this should be required reading for all voters and all people who seek a more peaceful world.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Snorki

    Really important subject and some good analysis in here, but it’s quite dry in places. It starts well, and there’s a good mixture of analysis and anecdote, to keep the general reader interested at the same time as discussing what is a difficult and complex subject. However, there is a section in the middle that talks about data collection, and although I understand the complexities of the topic (and indeed some of the details of statistical analysis), it felt that this was too academic for a gen Really important subject and some good analysis in here, but it’s quite dry in places. It starts well, and there’s a good mixture of analysis and anecdote, to keep the general reader interested at the same time as discussing what is a difficult and complex subject. However, there is a section in the middle that talks about data collection, and although I understand the complexities of the topic (and indeed some of the details of statistical analysis), it felt that this was too academic for a general readership. Talking about R squared and regression analysis doesn’t mean much to many people, and I feel that most of the rest of the content of this book should be read by a wider audience. It does pick up again in the second half, with chapters on top-down and bottom-up change. However, there is a slight jarring note as the book is trying to deliver a hopeful message, much was written in 2010/2011, when the Arab Spring was underway, and it’s quite depressing to see what’s happened after that - not a great blooming of democracy and expansion of women’s rights that the authors hope for, and in some cases, quite the opposite. All the more reason for this subject to be treated with even more urgency in 2020!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Justine B.

    I've started reading this book following the recommendation of UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and I'm really happy to have done so. This book is a must read. Living in a country that I would consider fairly safe although still pretty unequal it is sometimes easy to forget the lacking condition of woman all around the world. This book provided good food for thought. First time reading women condition linked to global peace and it gave interesting thoughts. One thing that I really enjoye I've started reading this book following the recommendation of UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and I'm really happy to have done so. This book is a must read. Living in a country that I would consider fairly safe although still pretty unequal it is sometimes easy to forget the lacking condition of woman all around the world. This book provided good food for thought. First time reading women condition linked to global peace and it gave interesting thoughts. One thing that I really enjoyed about this work was the numerous examples supported by extensive endnotes and references. It added actual events and real facts to this quite academic work. Surely the conclusion is too idyllic but sometimes we have to envision a lot to get even small changes. The only reluctance I have is about the technical difficulty of some part of this book, mostly in chapters 3 and 4. Some analysis require a quite strong science background to make sense. Also using a digital edition of this book, it sometimes made things a bit difficult. For example, due to the color, I had to open the map on another support to be able to read them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sheridan Rea

    I cannot recommend this book enough! Sex and World Peace guides the reader through the fact that women's security is inextricably tied to national and international security. The authors share first hand accounts of abuse and discrimination by women all over the world and support these individual experiences with data collected on the state of women in every country. Their empirical evidence is not only descriptive but also supports the claim that when women are treated as equal in society, socie I cannot recommend this book enough! Sex and World Peace guides the reader through the fact that women's security is inextricably tied to national and international security. The authors share first hand accounts of abuse and discrimination by women all over the world and support these individual experiences with data collected on the state of women in every country. Their empirical evidence is not only descriptive but also supports the claim that when women are treated as equal in society, society flourishes. The authors specifically call for improvement in three categories: the physical security of women, equity in family law and enforcement, and equal representation in decision making bodies. This book is also a call to action to every reader to address gender inequality in their lives, big or small. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommended it to everyone.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ina

    This text book on the state of the female population across the world takes a data-driven look on the factors that link the condition of the treatment of women to the state of the economy of that country. The extensive analysis provided by the book lays out a compelling argument in favour of provoding stronger female security world over that will lead to both greater, more stable growth for the families and in turn for the state (including a direct contributions to the country's GDP). The most in This text book on the state of the female population across the world takes a data-driven look on the factors that link the condition of the treatment of women to the state of the economy of that country. The extensive analysis provided by the book lays out a compelling argument in favour of provoding stronger female security world over that will lead to both greater, more stable growth for the families and in turn for the state (including a direct contributions to the country's GDP). The most interesting aspect to consider (for me) was how decision making becomes more stable and less reckless when women are also made a part of the process. The book made a small point, albeit not in great detail, around the potential benefit of having both male and female decision makers at the highest post of the office, which to me was a fascinating concept (and to be honest, worth a shot!). This book should be a taught in every school as mandatory coursework. Period.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Brook

    Empirical evidence showed how international security could not be achieved without female security; however it did not go far enough in dissecting the root causes of patriarchy within the international system. This is not surprising since IR is founded in male thought. Despite this criticism, I found the biological and anthropological descriptions of male/female relations fascinating. Overall, this book offers a good theoretical underpinning as to how men formed a patriarchal system that is main Empirical evidence showed how international security could not be achieved without female security; however it did not go far enough in dissecting the root causes of patriarchy within the international system. This is not surprising since IR is founded in male thought. Despite this criticism, I found the biological and anthropological descriptions of male/female relations fascinating. Overall, this book offers a good theoretical underpinning as to how men formed a patriarchal system that is maintained today, but did not completely outline the impact that it has had on women taking power on a state level. For example, to have power, women have to exhibit male characteristics such as aggression and competitiveness that the book outlines.

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