Exploring Sex and Sexuality in Women’s Prisons: Gender Studies Program An Analysis of Strip Searches, Sexual Violence, and Sexuality in Women’s Prisons

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Authors
Russell, Anna
Advisor
Dolan, Jamie
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Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Exploring Sex and Sexuality in Women’s Prisons: Gender Studies Program An Analysis of Strip Searches, Sexual Violence, and Sexuality in Women’s Prisons
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Abstract
The sexual lives of female inmates are impacted by strip searches, imbalanced power dynamics, violence, and isolation. This study uses existing literature as the methodological foundation. Erving Goffman's theories of contamination in total institutions and Luce Irigaray’s theories on sexuality provide the theoretical framework to make sense of women’s experiences of sex and sexuality within the prison system. The research in this study focuses on four main factors; strip searches, imbalanced power dynamics, sexual violence, and isolation from the outside world. By focusing on strip searches, power dynamics, and sexual violence, this study aims to show how women experience forced sex or expressions of sexuality in the prison system. Alternatively, the factor of isolation aims to show how women experience restricted sexual expression while having limited interaction with the outside world.
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Gender Studies