How Many Women Did Genghis Khan Rape

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teachsuccess's profile pic

teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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As the other educator mentioned, no one really knows how many women Genghis Khan (Temujin) raped.

Temujin was a Mongol warrior lord who harbored an ambitious hegemonic agenda. He conquered large areas of Asia during his reign as khan. Under his leadership, the Mongol army became a powerful fighting machine, cutting through huge swaths of territory and terrorizing the inhabitants of those lands. 

Temujin's army was successful because it excelled in reconnaissance and psychological warfare. Temujin was merciless in the aftermath of any conflict; enemy men were summarily executed, while the women and children became the spoils of war. Temujin took any woman who caught his fancy, and certainly, his commanders knew enough to leave the most beautiful women to him.

Historians assert that Temujin reveled in marrying or taking for concubines the wives and daughters of his enemies. Although there is no evidence to suggest that any of the women consented to their fate eagerly, it is safe to conclude that Temujin left these women little choice. It is highly likely that any woman who dared to rebel would have been summarily killed or worse, given over to Temujin's soldiers for sexual sport. 

According to National Geographic (link below), an international group of scientists discovered that about 8 percent of men living in previous territories of the Mongol Empire carry almost identical Y-chromosomes. That translates into an eye-popping 16 million descendants. Whether these men actually descended from Temujin is still a matter of vibrant debate.

One thing is clear, however: Temujin's sexual appetite was legendary. He expected women to fulfill his desires, regardless of their thoughts on the matter. If the numbers above hold, there is no telling the numbers of women Genghis Khan raped during his years as a Mongol warrior lord.

Sources:
kcoleman2016's profile pic

kcoleman2016 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Well, let's take a minute and discuss first the facts, then the myth, and then the factors that went into that myth. 

Fact: No one knows. Genghis Khan was an incredibly successful Mongolian conqueror whose empire was one of the most vast every recorded. It is highly probable that there are many people across the Asian continent who are distantly related, though through what circumstances we cannot know for sure. 

Myth: According to popular legend, Genghis Khan commanded that every night, he have a new bed partner. This woman had to be beautiful, a virgin, and an inhabitant of his most recently conquered lands. His request was in part fueled by a desire to mix the bloodlines of the conquerers and the conquered, thereby creating one empire and one people. 

Behind the Myth: Before genetics were well understood, people had to establish reasons for things that they found difficult to explain. You may heard the term "mongoloid" before; this is a now-offensive term for a person with Down's Syndrome. In an earlier era, Europeans found it impossible to understand why their children might be born with what appeared to them to be Asiatic features: thinner, almond-shaped eyes and a flatter, broader facial bone structure. In the racism of the same time, Europeans also saw themselves as by definition superior to everyone else, a belief that fueled many horrible atrocities. They decided that children with Down's Syndrome must have "inferior" blood in them, and used the legend of Genghis Khan's empire to support this belief. As a result, the raping myth was born.