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NCJ Number: 120660 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Sexual Assault in Prison Inmates
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:69  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring-Summer 1989)  Pages:62-71
Author(s): R Tewksbury
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the perception of fear of sexual assault among incarcerated male inmates, a psychological factor which has a greater impact on the routine functioning of individuals and institutions than the actual incidence of sexual assaults.
Abstract: Previous research on sexual victimization of incarcerated males, based on questionnaires and interviews with inmates and correctional authorities, has shown that targets of sexual assault are likely to be young, nonviolent, first-time offenders who are slightly built, white, and more likely than nontargets to have a history of mental health residency. Those who are perceived to be fearful are defined as weak and therefore more likely to be victims of assault. This questionnaire was administered to 150 inmates at the Lebanon Correctional Institution. Fear of sexual assault, the primary dependent variable, was operationalized to measure individual perceptions of the prevalence of sexual assault in the facility. Other dependent variables were actual incidence of sexual approaches, forceful approaches, and sexual assault; the independent variables measured personal characteristics, social support resources, and the offender's primary offense. The only variables significant in attempting to predict individual fear were that individual's height and weight; the level of fear decreased with height and increased with weight. Neither possession of an intact social support network nor race impacted on the individual's level of fear. The fear of sexual assault was greater than the actual incidence of such assaults, and was probably greater than reflected in the results of the questionnaire. 5 tables, 6 footnotes, 15 references.
Main Term(s): Prisoner sexual assault; Victimization in prisons
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Sexual assault trauma; Sexual assault victims
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