Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Joel D. Lieberman

Second Committee Member

Emily I. Troshynski

Third Committee Member

Terance D. Miethe

Fourth Committee Member

David Beisecker

Number of Pages



Existing research on sexual victimization in correctional facilities has expanded since the enactment of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. Previous literature suggests that the prevalence of sexual victimization in prisons is unknown, yet the known ramifications of reported sexual assaults are serious for both the individuals involved and the institution. Government policies such as the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 attempt to address the issue of sexual violence in U.S. correctional facilities. Limitations of PREA, however, derive from a lack of clear distinction between coerced and consensual behavior and how these ideas manifest and co-exist in different facilities. Further, sexual and gender identities of inmates, age, and other cultural factors influence the usefulness and consistency of PREA. This paper will describe the unique cultural aspects of prison life for both adult men and women and how sexual victimization affects inmates on a social and psychological level. This paper will further address the personality factor of authoritarianism and its influence on perceptions of sexually victimized men and women in prison and in other settings. Finally, this thesis will discuss how PREA does not fully succeed in properly addressing sexual violence in U.S. prisons.


Authoritarianism; Corrections; Gender; Gender identity; Perceptions; Prisoners – Abuse of; Prisons; Rape; Rape victims; Sexual assault; Victimization


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Psychology | Sociology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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