Thesis

Women of terror: the lethality of female suicide bombers

Thesis (M.S., Criminal Justice)--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.

Over the past fifty years, the world has witnessed an increase in the perpetration of suicide terrorism and with it, the gradual increase in the utilization of female suicide bombers. Prior literature suggests that female suicide bombers are more lethal due to their perceived nonviolent nature that reduces suspicion, which may explain the increased use of female suicide bombers. The current research project determines if this claim is accurate by comparing the lethality rates of both male and female suicide bombers. The study utilizes a mixed methods approach with a secondary quantitative data sample (N = 881) drawn from the Global Terrorism Database and a qualitative data sample (N = 50) drawn from bipartisan global media sources. The study found a relatively equal rate of lethality among male and female suicide bombers. The current research project is significant due to its ability to aid in the development of future research and global counterterrorism measures that incorporate all threat levels, including women.

Over the past fifty years, the world has witnessed an increase in the perpetration of suicide terrorism and with it, the gradual increase in the utilization of female suicide bombers. Prior literature suggests that female suicide bombers are more lethal due to their perceived nonviolent nature that reduces suspicion, which may explain the increased use of female suicide bombers. The current research project determines if this claim is accurate by comparing the lethality rates of both male and female suicide bombers. The study utilizes a mixed methods approach with a secondary quantitative data sample (N = 881) drawn from the Global Terrorism Database and a qualitative data sample (N = 50) drawn from bipartisan global media sources. The study found a relatively equal rate of lethality among male and female suicide bombers. The current research project is significant due to its ability to aid in the development of future research and global counterterrorism measures that incorporate all threat levels, including women.

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