Boys, Rape and Masculinity: Reclaiming Male Narratives of Sexual Violence in Custody_March 5, 2015

Document Type


Publication Date


Conference / Event Title

The Ohio State University

Conference / Event Location

Cleveland, OH


This talk will examine 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 will outline 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 will colclude with policy and practice prescription and recommendations for further theoretical development in the masculinity and feminist theory spaces to account for this phenomena.