- The Oxford Handbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Doing Crime as Doing Gender?: Masculinities, Femininities, and Crime
- Intersectionality and the Study of Sex, Gender, and Crime
- Sexual Violence
- Back to Basics: Gender and the Social Psychology of Aggression
- Feminist Criminologies’ Contribution to Understandings of Sex, Gender, and Crime
- Explaining the Volte-Face: Turning Away from Criminal Law and Returning to the Quest for Gender Equality
- Long-Term Trends in Female and Male Involvement in Crime
- A Historical Perspective on Criminal Justice Responses to Female and Male Offending
- Gender, Sex, and Intimate-Partner Violence in Historical Perspective
- Masculinities and Crime in Historical Perspective
- Sexual Violence in Historical Perspective
- Crimes Related to Sexuality and Reproduction
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Sex, Gender, and Crime
- Biological Perspectives on Sex Differences in Crime and Antisocial Behavior
- Developmental Perspectives: Sex Differences in Antisocial Behavior from Childhood to Adulthood
- Adolescent Crime and Victimization: Sex and Gender Differences, Similarities, and Emerging Intersections
- Gender and Offending in a Life Course Context
- Intimate-Partner Violence
- Violence Against Children in Families
- Violence Against Sexual and Gender Minorities
- Sex, Gender, and Homicide: Contemporary Trends and Patterns
- Organized Crime: The Gender Constraints of Illegal Markets
- Street Gangs: The Gendered Experiences of Female and Male Gang Members
- White-Collar and Corporate Crime
- Sex Work, Gender, and Criminal Justice
- Complicating the Immigration–Crime Nexus: Theorizing the Role of Gender in the Relationship Between Immigration and Crime
- The Benefits and Penalties of Gender for Criminal Justice Processing Outcomes Among Adults and Juveniles
- Sex, Gender, and Imprisonment: Rates, Reforms, and Lived Realities
- Media, Gender, Sex, and Crime
- Empirical Vacuum: In Search of Research on Human Trafficking
- The Legal Regulation of Sex and Sexuality
- Honor Killings
- Beyond Rape: Reconceptualizing Gender-Based Violence During Warfare
- State Rape and the Crime of Genocide
Abstract and Keywords
Honor killings are an extreme type of gendered domestic violence, with peculiar characteristics related to the social and cultural traditions of tribal, patriarchal societies. The killings are motivated by the goal to restore a family’s collective reputation that has been damaged by the victim’s violation of very strict norms regulating female sexuality, and they are viewed by the assailants as a legitimate punishment, often condoned by local communities and tolerated by state agencies. While the paradigmatic honor killing is the murder of a young woman by her male relatives, intimate-partner homicides are often included in definitions of the crime, as are cases with male victims. Pakistan, Arabian countries, and Turkey are reported to have the highest number of cases, but reliable statistics are lacking. This essay gives an overview of the current state of research on honor killings in the Maghreb region, in western and central Asian countries, as well as in industrialized countries; offers an explanation of the crime focusing on macro-level societal factors; and reflects on the controversial question of whether honor killings are distinct from other forms of violence against women. The legal provisions permitting an exceedingly lenient treatment of assailants in many of the most affected countries are examined, and the prospects for current criminal justice reforms that play a key role in the fight against honor killings are assessed.
Dietrich Oberwittler is a Senior Researcher in Sociology at the University of Freiburg and Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law.
Julia Kasselt is a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law.
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