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The Sexual Economy of WarDiscipline and Desire in the U.S. Army$
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Andrew Byers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501736445

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501736445.001.0001

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Ongoing Concerns with Soldiers’ Sexualities and Sexual Cultures

Ongoing Concerns with Soldiers’ Sexualities and Sexual Cultures

(p.200) Conclusion Ongoing Concerns with Soldiers’ Sexualities and Sexual Cultures
The Sexual Economy of War

Andrew Byers

Cornell University Press

The conclusion argues that the U.S. Army first attempted to gain control of almost all aspects of soldiers’ sexuality and then tried to carefully manage and regulate that sexual economy to best fulfill the army’s missions. In the process, it created a new kind of militant masculinity, one especially encouraged for enlisted soldiers. As a guiding principle, army leaders often used the notion of “military necessity” to shape their actions in controlling soldiers’ sexuality. They suppressed soldiers’ sexual behaviors and expressions that they perceived as running counter to the good of the service or creating inefficiencies and encouraged those aspects of sexual identity that the army believed benefited the service. The army’s efforts, which took shape in very different ways, depending on the time period and geographic context, were resisted by many soldiers and their sexual partners, who sought sexual expressions that sometimes ran counter to the army’s institutional goals.

Keywords:   military, military justice, U.S. Army, sexuality, sexual economy of war, sexual culture

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