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The Homosexuality Factor in Social Violence


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TO: The Homosexuality Factor In Male Youth Gangs
Presented to The Action Committee Against Violence City of Calgary
For Easier printing: Document in Two Parts!

The Homosexuality Factor In Prison Violence

In the 1982 book, Male Rape, edited by Dr. Anthony M. Stacco, Jr., American prisons are noted to be places where homosexual activity is common, and sexual violence is rife. It is also suggested that this prisons reality reflects the nature of our society, including its high level of violence, especially sexual violence. As stated by Dostoevski, "the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons" (75: 29) where there is an excellent chance that a boy, or a physically weaker younger adult male, will be raped by one or more stronger males. Given the relationship existing between a society and its prisons, we therefore may learn much about ourselves by knowing what happens in prisons. The highlights are:
The "turning out" process is "an act of conquest and demasculation, stripping the male victim of his status of 'man.' The act redefines him as 'female'... and he must assume that role as the 'property' of his conqueror or whoever claimed him and arranged his demasculation. He becomes a slave, in the fullest sense of the term" (75: 5).
Rape also accomplishes the same objective and its purpose is recognized even by young males in juvenile detention facilities. Statements made by male youth aggressors raping a male are:
We're going to take your manhood. You'll have to give up some face. We're going to make a girl out of you (81: 94).
From a 1977 court hearing in Cincinnati:
'The guys that raped me put a straight razor to my throat and held me down,' he testified, adding that he had to become a 'wife' to one prisoner in order to protect himself from the random sexual attacks by others (75: 5). Describing this "wife" reality of prison life formed a part of the "L.A. Law" episode aired on May 7, 1992, and it has been noted in other television programs and movies.

During the 'indoor recreation' period of August 21 and 22 Donald was overpowered, beaten, threatened with death, dragged from cell to cell, and forcibly raped some sixty times (89: 38).

In the 1991 book, Gay Roots, edited by Winston Leyland, a gay inmate/writer, Robert N. Boyd, describes six homosexual situations existing in prisons. He notes that there are ways a gay inmate can avoid violence, but doing this requires having great knowledge and understanding of the situation. He ends the section by stating that gay males could turn this "hell" into a "heaven" (12: 272-278), but I think doing this depends on the nature of the gay male. A gay inmate disagrees with Boyd in the 1979 book "Men's Bodies, Men's Selves" edited by Sam Jultry. Ronald Endersby concludes his account with:
Love in prison? Companionship, sex, an escape from never-ending boredom, an escape from reality - all of these, but not love! (41: 114)
Donald Tucker describes the situations which some people think are "voluntary" sexual relationships in prisons:
In fact, the power/control element is never absent from the Man-Punk relationship, indeed, it defines that relationship: the Man controls the Punk. Period (89: 71).
Jultry (1979) introduces another gay male's contribution with:
John Gibb's essay reveals what happens when two gay men are openly gay and struggle together as friends to obtain equal rights for gays. Since such a relationship violates the homosexual standards of prison life, Ernest, his friend and lover, was murdered (41: 114).
There must be a 'husband' and 'wife'. ...Straight prisoners often play the game - only if they are allowed to play the husband. The hets consider this perfectly normal and not a homosexual experience - for they only do this when nothing else is available, no women around. For a het inmate to have an 'old lady' while in prison is acceptable to the prison staff and the inmates (41: 114).
Other descriptions:
So, while homosexual rape in prison is initially a macho/power thing, slaves are created because a need exists for slaves - a need for a woman-substitute.. The identification is always on a continuum of passive and dominant, weak and strong, with the weak and passive viewed and related to as being 'female.' ...The 'stud' in a homosexual relationship 'does not consider himself to be a homosexual, or even to have engaged in homosexual acts (75: 9).
In prisons, many males are involved in homosexual sex. Dr. Frank Rundle who served as chief psychiatrist of the 2200-man California Training facility at Soledad, and also as Director of Psychiatry of Prison Health Services for all of the correctional institutions, both juvenile and adult in New York City "believes that it's almost universal," involving "almost everybody at least sometime." Another professional gives a 70 percent estimate (75: 12). These estimates are similar to the one given by a Canadian, Roger Caron, in his 1978 book "Go-BOY" which won the Governor General's Medal. He had been in numerous Canadian prisons and reports on his experiences with homosexual activity:
I was plagued daily with offers of marriage, money and food, until my mind was reeling with the magnitude of it all. Gradually the wolves came to realize that I did not go that route... (18: 140-141). Caron was arrested for armed robbery in the winter of 1992. The reasons why he had returned to a life of crime was not explored by the media.
While I was writing this section of the document in April, 1992, I mentioned to a group of three females and one male that I was writing about homosexuality in prison systems. One female reported that she knew a male who had been raped in Calgary's detention center. One U.S. group formed to hopefully put an end to male rape in detention facilities, estimates that 26,000 male rapes a day occur in American prisons (17: 31); this is about one male rape every three seconds, and it is a much higher rape estimate than the ones reported for all females in the United States. This male rape estimate also does not include rapes in juvenile detention facilities where rapes are estimated to occur at even higher rates.

An interesting prison homo-sex reality is related to the men actively seeking sex with other males; they are the ones having the orgasms while the passive males perceived to be "like women" usually don't. The dominant males also rape other males, supposedly because women are not available, and always have orgasms (89: 61). Yet, researchers report that about one-third of men who rape women fail to perform sexually, one third have difficulties, and only about one-third perform as well as do the men who rape men in prisons (31: 234). There are great implication stemming from this observation.

Dominant males in prisons may be involved in self-deception given that their reason for desiring and having sex with males is generally because women are not available. Apparently, they are only using a males, or raping them, because they would be doing the same to women if they were available. If this is true, the question is: "Given that our society has recently become concerned about the violence men inflict on women, should these men be let out of prison, if we do accept and believe their reason for seeking and enjoying abusive and violent sex with males?"

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