CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, July 6, 2015

Smith on Sexual Violence Against Boys in Custody

Smith brendaBrenda V. Smith (American University - Washington College of Law) has posted Boys, Rape and Masculinity: Reclaiming Boys’ Narratives of Sexual Violence in Custody (North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 93, 2015) on SSRN. Here is the 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.

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