Original Research - Special Collection: African Hermeneutics

Of seduction and male abuse: Exploring the less-talked-about using Tamar’s stratagem (Gn 37–38)

Canisius Mwandayi
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2767 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2767 | © 2023 Canisius Mwandayi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2022 | Published: 28 April 2023

About the author(s)

Canisius Mwandayi, Department of Religious Studies and Ethics, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Midlands State University, Zvishavane, Zimbabwe; and, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, Faculty of Arts, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Gender-based violence has often been framed and perceived as exclusively a women’s issue. As a result, terms such as ‘violence against women’ and ‘gender-based violence’ have often been understood and used interchangeably. In the fight and campaign against gender-based violence, men have been reckoned to be the most common culprits behind fuelling violence against women. While indeed to a large extent men are the perpetrators of gender-based violence, little attention, however, has been paid to at least two things: the loose usage of the term ‘gender’ as if exclusive of men, as well as the violence that some men suffer at the hands of some women. It was the thrust of this article to bring on the table the less-talked-about sexual abuse that some men suffer at the hands of some young women using Tamar’s trapping of Judah as an entry point into the discussion. Using a socio-anthropological approach, the article argued that the behaviour of some young women towards men older than themselves through manipulating their sexual weakness is a form of gender-based violence that calls for a redress.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The theme of gender-based violence is by definition of multidisciplinary interest. This contribution highlighted the less-talked-about abuse of men, which is also of significance within multiple disciplines including biblical studies, social anthropology, theology, cultural studies and even history.


gender-based violence; African women; seduction; Tamar; Judah; sexual harassment; corsets; sexually hypersensitive


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