Impact of Time in Prison and Security Level on Inmates' Sexual Attitude, Behavior, and Identity


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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to develop an understanding of changes in inmates' sexual identity and the role these changes play in inmates' sexual attitudes and behaviors while incarcerated. Participants in this study consisted of 185 inmates from minimum and maximum security correctional facilities in a midwestern state. Results revealed that the higher the security level was and the longer inmates spent in a correctional facility, the greater was the probability that inmates would begin to endorse some preference for same-sex sexual behavior. This is in contrast to the finding that inmates less readily changed their sexual identity from heterosexual to homosexual regardless of the security level or the length of time spent in prison. Furthermore, inmates generally reported engaging in consensual same-sex sexual activities for reasons that are consistent with those of nonincarcerated persons (love and pleasure). Implications and future studies are also discussed.

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