Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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Start: Alphabetical Index: Speaker Index: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

First published: March 1, 2024 - Last updated: March 1, 2024


Speaker: Paul S Cha and Jae-Jung Suh

Title: “Comfort Girls” to “Delinquent Women”

Subtitle: Shifting Colonial Responsibilities to Postwar Reconstruction

Conference: Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (March 1: Virtual, March 14-17, 2024: In-Person) - Online Program

Session: B030 - Speaking and Silencing Comfort Women: Lost between Empires, Forgotten across Time (Chair: Alexis Dudden)

Place: Seattle, Washington, United States

Date: March 15, 2024

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History; Asian History: Japanese History, Korean History | Types: Forced Prostitution / "Comfort Women" System; Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Asia-Pacific War


Link: -


Speakers: Paul S Cha, Korean Studies Programme, University of Hong Kong

Abstract: »The U.S. government, media, and public were aware of “comfort girls” as early as 1942. Yet, after the conclusion of the Asia Pacific War, their collective knowledge faded away from the public sphere. How did this happen? This paper examines this question from both micro and macro-perspectives. At a micro-level, individual Americans, in particular missionaries, initially discussed the need to assist comfort girls after the war and initiated programs, such as shelters, for them in Korea. However, the chaos caused by the division of the peninsula, the U.S. military’s haphazard decolonization policies, and the outbreak of the Korean War led the missionaries to shift their focus from assisting comfort girls to rehabilitating “delinquent women.” At a macro level, the U.S. military and government viewed the post-World War II period through a simplistic binary lens, democracy versus communism, that left the continuing tensions between former colonial masters and colonies from the center of focus. (South) Korea’s postcolonial past ill-fit this binary to the extent that it brought to the foreground Japan’s colonial responsibilities in postwar deliberations. In fact, colonial atrocities, like “comfort girls” needed to be silenced so that postwar peace might be constructed between the U.S. and Japan.« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Korea / Korea under Japanese rule | History of Asia: History of Japan / Shōwa era | History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1917–1945) | Prostitution: Forced prostitution / Comfort women | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence / Wartime sexual violence in World War II | War: Pacific War / Japanese war crimes