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Constitutional Law

Law and Gender

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

2011

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E-Race-Ing Gender: The Racial Construction Of Prison Rape, Kim S. Buchanan Nov 2011

E-Race-Ing Gender: The Racial Construction Of Prison Rape, Kim S. Buchanan

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Prison rape is a form of gender violence. Men’s prisons institutionalize a toxic form of masculinity when they foster homophobia, physical violence and an institutional culture that requires inmates to prove their masculinity by fighting. Staff and inmate abusers alike target small, young, effeminate, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates. According to recent nationwide survey data, the two factors that most strongly predict an inmate’s risk of sexual abuse are (1) prior sexual victimization, and (2) gay, bisexual or transgender identity. Nonetheless, prison rape continues to be understood in accordance with an inaccurate stereotype that it is typically black-on-white ...