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Boys, Rape and Masculinity: Reclaiming Boys’ Narratives of Sexual Violence in Custody

36 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2015  

Brenda V. Smith

American University - Washington College of Law; American University - NIC/WCL Project on Addressing Prison Rape

Date Written: June 26, 2015

Abstract

This article examines a little studied area at the intersections of masculinity, feminist studies, and criminal justice — sexual abuse of boys in custody by female staff. Professor Smith outlines the scope of the problem and discusses competing narratives that attempt to explain the phenomena: (1) female staff as “mother, sister, friend”; (2) adolescent development theory; (3) complex early childhood trauma; and (4) female authority and power. There is a gap in both masculinity and feminist theory in analyzing sexual aggression and power by women over boys. The talk article concludes with policy and practice prescription and recommendations for further theoretical development in the masculinity and feminist theory spaces to account for these phenomena.

Keywords: prisons, sexual expression, rape, violence, gender, masculinity

JEL Classification: K40, K42, K14, Z00, K49

Suggested Citation

Smith, Brenda V., Boys, Rape and Masculinity: Reclaiming Boys’ Narratives of Sexual Violence in Custody (June 26, 2015). North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 93, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2623618

Brenda Smith (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

American University - NIC/WCL Project on Addressing Prison Rape ( email )

4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20011
United States

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