Colleen Kirby

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Social Work

First Advisor

Mr. David Manville

Second Advisor

Dr. Yvette Colón


There are over 300,000 children being exploited, used as slaves and in combat situations as child soldiers. These children are kidnapped, brainwashed and forced to commit atrocities that are so heinous, most adults cannot fathom witnessing these things themselves. While both female and male child soldiers exist, their roles can be extremely different. Even though we are aware that the experiences and gender roles are different, there is minimal research on the female child solider experience. This research explores the different gender roles and involvements for both male and female child soldiers. It also explores the lack of research regarding female child soldiers and the possible reasons for this difference.