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In the biblical narrative the Massacre of the Innocents, males under the age of two were selected to be executed by the state.

Androcide is a term for the hate crime of systematically killing men, boys, or males in general because of their gender. Not all murders of men are androcides in the same way that not all murders of women are femicides. Androcides often happen during war or genocide. Men and boys are not solely targeted because of abstract or ideological hatred. Rather, male civilians are often targeted during warfare as a way to remove those considered to be potential combatants, and during genocide as a way to destroy the entire community.[1][2]


Androcide is a coordinate term of femicide and a hyponym of gendercide.[3] The etymological root of the hybrid word is derived from a combination of the Greek prefix andro meaning "man" or boy,[4] with the Latin suffix cide, meaning killing.[5]


Androcide may be deliberate: for example, to degrade the offensive capabilities of an adversary.[6] Massacres of men and boys may be of this type. For example, during the Kosovo War, the Yugoslav forces under Slobodan Milošević was accused of massacring a lot of male Albanians of "battle age" because they saw them as a threat.[7]

Androcide may also be part of a larger genocide. Perpetrators may treat male and female victims differently. For example, during the Armenian genocide, elite men were publicly executed. Afterward, average men and boys would be killed en masse, and the women and little children in their communities deported. Gendercide Watch, an independent human rights group, regards this as a gendercide against men.[8] However, this gendered treatment of victims was not ubiquitous; in many locations, women and girls were also subject to massacre.[9]

Men's rights activists such as Paul Nathanson, author of Replacing Misandry: A Revolutionary History of Men argue that the draft is a form of androcide. In many countries, only men are subjected to military conscription, which leaves them at greater risk of death during warfare compared to women.[10] Worldwide, males constitute 79% of non-conflict homicides[11] and the majority of direct conflict deaths.[12]

Androcide has also been a feature of literature in ancient Greek mythology[13] and in hypothetical situations wherein there is discord between the sexes.[14]


Generally, military services will forcibly conscript men to fight in warfare, inevitably leading to massive male casualties when faced with males on the opposing side.[15] Non-combatant males make up a majority of the casualties in mass killings in warfare.[16] This practice occurs since soldiers see opposing men, fighting or otherwise, as rivals and a threat to their superiority. Alternatively, they are afraid that these men will attempt to fight back and kill them for any number of reasons, including revenge, mutual fear, and self defense. Thus, they may kill preemptively in an attempt to prevent this possibility.[17]


In warfare[edit]

  • Genghis Khan was among many recorded warlords who would often employ the mass, indiscriminate murder of men and boys he felt threatened by regardless if they were soldiers, civilians, or simply in the way. In the year 1202, after he and Ong Khan allied to conquer the Tatars, and ordered the execution of every Tatar man and boy taller than a linchpin, and enslaving Tatar women for sexual purposes. This was done as collective punishment for the fatal poisoning of Genghis Khan's father, Yesugei for which the Mongols blamed the Tatars according to The Secret History of the Mongols.[18] Likewise, in the year 1211, Genghis Khan had planned on the widescale killing of males in retaliation for the revolt against his daughter Alakhai Bekhi, until she persuaded him to only punish the murderers of her husband, the event which caused the revolt.[19]
  • After the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), the only slave rebellion in world history which successfully resulted in establishing an independent nation (Haiti),[20] black Haitian general and self-proclaimed monarch Jean-Jacques Dessalines, ordered his soldiers to massacre of every remaining French person on Haiti. The motivation for this was the fear of reinvasion and re-establishment of slavery, in which the French colonial military had attempted prior, as well as revenge for the French enslavement and torment of Africans.[21] The 1804 Haitian massacre would exclusively target French males, soldiers were generally unwilling to kill French women and Dessalines did not specify targeting them, it was only when Dessalines's advisors argued that the French would not be truly eradicated if French women were left to give birth to Frenchmen that he ordered the massacre of French women as well, at a later stage. Only those who agreed to marry black Haitian men were spared.[22]
  • During World War II, German soldiers killed millions of Russian prisoners of war (POWs) via starvation, exposure to the elements, exposure to disease in cramped POW camps, or outright execution.[23]
  • During the Kosovo War of 1998-1999, Slobodan Milošević's men killed many young Albanian men because they were perceived as threats or potential terrorists.[24]


As part of genocide[edit]

  • During the Armenian genocide of the 1910s, Turkish irregulars massacred Armenian men. Men were the traditional heads of the family, so killing them meant that the remainder of the community was defenseless and without leadership. The women were then subjected to rape, sex slavery, kidnapping, forced conversion, and forced marriage.[25][26] Although men were typically massacred first, women were also massacred or died during death marches.[27] Both the murder of men and the sexual violence against women furthered the plan to exterminate the Armenian population.[28]
  • Analysis of existing mortality estimates of the Cambodian genocide show that men accounted for 81% of all violent deaths and 67% of all excess deaths in this period.[29] The killing of about 50–70% of Cambodia’s working-age men lead to a shift in norms regarding the sexual division of labor and correlates with present-day indicators of women’s economic advancements and increased representation in local-level elected office.[30]
  • The Anfal genocide of 1988 killed between 50,000 and 182,000 Kurds and thousands of Assyrians during the final stages of the Iran-Iraq War. This act committed during the Anfal Campaign was led by Ali Hassan al-Majid, under the orders of President Saddam Hussein. Anfal, which officially began in 1988, had eight stages in six geographical areas. Every stage followed the same patterns: steer civilians to points near the main road, where they were met by the jash forces and transported to temporary meeting points. After transport, they were then separated into three groups: teenage boys and men, women and children, and the elderly. The men and teenage boys were never to be seen again. Women, all children, and the elderly of both genders were sent to camps; men were immediately stripped out of their clothes, only wearing a sharwal, and were executed. Gendercide Watch also regards this case as a gendercide against men.[31][32] Many Kurd men and boys were killed in order to reduce the chance of ever fighting back. Paul Nathanson theorized that men kill other men in order to protect their territory and ward off attacks.[33]
  • The Rwandan genocide of 1994 caused the death of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsi people. Men were the primary targets for killing, while women were the primary targets for rape and mutilation. Because of this, Gendercide Watch describes the Rwandan genocide as a gendercide against men, even though men were not the sole victims; Tutsi women were also murdered.[34][35][36]


With regards to plants, androcide may refer to efforts to direct pollination through emasculating certain crops.[37]

In cannabis cultivation, male plants are culled once identified to prevent fertilisation of female plants due to the fact unfertilised female plants produce parthenocarpic fruits.


In the Ancient Greek myth of the Trojan War, accounts of which are largely legendary, the Greeks killed all the men and boys of Troy after conquering it. Even infants and the elderly were not spared; the Greeks wanted to prevent a future Trojan rebellion or uprising. The female Trojans were raped and enslaved rather than being killed.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones 2000, p. 199.
  2. ^ Jones 2000, p. 205.
  3. ^ Welsh, EE (2012). Establishing Difference: The Gendering and Racialization of Power in Genocide (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  4. ^ Danner, Horace (2013). A Thesaurus of Medical Word Roots. p. 17.
  5. ^ Green, Tamara (2014). The Greek & Latin Roots of English. p. 51.
  6. ^ Synnott, Anthony (2012). Re-Thinking Men: Heroes, Villains and Victims. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9781409491958.
  7. ^ Jones 2000.
  8. ^ "Case Study: The Armenian Genocide, 1915–17". gendercide.org. Gendercide Watch. Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  9. ^ Peterson, Merrill D. (2004). "Starving Armenians": America and the Armenian Genocide, 1915–1930 and After. University of Virginia Press. p. 41. ISBN 9780813922676.
  10. ^ Nathanson, Paul (2015). Replacing Misandry: A Revolutionary History of Men. without referring to the androcide of course that many societies have imposed at a later stage of the life cycle in the form of military conscription
  11. ^ Gibbons, Jonathan (2013). "Global Study on Homicide" (PDF). www.unodc.org. United National Office of Drugs and Crime (Vienna).
  12. ^ Ormhaug, Christin (2009). "Armed conflict deaths disaggregated by gender". www.prio.org. International Peace Research Institute (Oslo).
  13. ^ Skempis, Marios (2014). Geography, Topography, Landscape: Configurations of Space in Greek and Roman Epic. p. 172.
  14. ^ Morgan, Robin (1977). Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist. p. 3.
  15. ^ Nathanson, Paul (2015). Replacing Misandry: A Revolutionary History of Men. without referring to the androcide of course that many societies have imposed at a later stage of the life cycle in the form of military conscription
  16. ^ HSR (2005), "Assault on the vulnerable", in HSR, ed. (2005). Human security report 2005: war and peace in the 21st century. New York Oxford: Published for the Human Security Center, University if British Columbia, Canada by Oxford University Press. p. 111. ISBN 9780195307399. Citing Jones (2000), "Gendercide and genocide Archived 2018-06-18 at the Wayback Machine" p. 186.
  17. ^ Srivastava, U.S. (1980). Golden jubilee commemoration volume, 1980. p. 51.
  18. ^ The Secret History of the Mongols: Translated, Annotated, and with an Introduction by Urgunge Onon (2001). pp. 53-54, 57, 61, 111-135, 205
  19. ^ Weatherford, Jack (2010). The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire. New York: Crown Publishing Group.
  20. ^ "Chapter 6 – Haiti: Historical Setting". Country Studies. Library of Congress. Retrieved 18 September 2006.
  21. ^ Girard (2005a).
  22. ^ Girard 2011, pp. 321–322.
  23. ^ Jones 2000, p. 195.
  24. ^ Jones 2000, p. 185.
  25. ^ Derderian 2005, p. 3.
  26. ^ Derderian 2005, p. 14.
  27. ^ Derderian 2005, p. 4.
  28. ^ Derderian 2005, p. 12.
  29. ^ Heuveline, Patrick (28 July 2015). "The Boundaries of Genocide: Quantifying the Uncertainty of the Death Toll During the Pol Pot Regime (1975-1979)". Population Studies. 69, 2015 (2): 201–218. doi:10.1080/00324728.2015.1045546. PMC 4562795. PMID 26218856.
  30. ^ Gaikwad, Nikhar; Lin, Erin; Zucker, Noah (15 March 2021). "Gender After Genocide: How Violence Shapes Long-Term Political Representation". World Politics. 75 (3). Johns Hopkins University Press: 439–481. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3801980. S2CID 238081361. SSRN 3801980. Retrieved 22 Jun 2023.
  31. ^ "Case Study: The Anfal Campaign (Iraqi Kurdistan), 1988". gendercide.org. Gendercide Watch. Archived from the original on 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  32. ^ Lemarchand René, Choman Hardi. Forgotten Genocides: Oblivion, Denial, and Memory. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013
  33. ^ Paul Nathanson; Katherine K. Young (2015). "Replacing Misandry". MQUP, JSTOT.
  34. ^ "Case Study: Genocide in Rwanda, 1994". gendercide.org. Gendercide Watch. Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  35. ^ Burnet, Jennie E. (2012). "Remembering Genocide". Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 107. ISBN 9780299286439.
  36. ^ Shattered Lives: Sexual Violence during the Rwandan Genocide and its Aftermath. Human Rights Watch. 1996. p. 1. ISBN 1564322084. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008.
  37. ^ Verma, MM (1978). "Ethrel-a male gametocide that can replace the male sterility genes in barley". Euphytica. 27 (3): 865–868. doi:10.1007/BF00023727. S2CID 12676427.
  38. ^ Jones 2000, p. 187.


  • Derderian, Katharine (2005). "Common fate, different experience: gender-specific aspects of the Armenian Genocide, 1915–1917". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 19 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1093/hgs/dci001. PMID 20684092.
  • Girard, Philippe (2005a). "Caribbean genocide: racial war in Haiti, 1802–4". Patterns of Prejudice. 39 (2: Colonial Genocide): 138–161. doi:10.1080/00313220500106196. S2CID 145204936.
    Reprinted in: Moses, Dirk; Stone, Dan, eds. (2013). Colonialism and Genocide. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. pp. 42–65. ISBN 978-1-317-99753-5.
  • Jones, Adam (2000). "Gendercide and Genocide". Journal of Genocide Studies. 2 (2). Taylor & Francis: 185–211. doi:10.1080/713677599. S2CID 143867857.
  • Girard, Philippe R. (2011). The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian War of Independence 1801–1804. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. ISBN 978-0-8173-1732-4.