n Gender and Behaviour - Carceral dis/continuities : masculinities, male same- sex desire, discipline, and rape in South African prisons

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



Prison, as place is a micro-cosm of the normative regulation and discipline of gendered and sexual bodies. The discipline and surveillance of men and same sex desire involves the re/production and circulation of discourses of heterosexuality and hegemonic masculinities, in particular. Heterosexual masculinity is circulated as the primary form of male sexual practice, even in an all-male environment such as prison. Not necessarily because it is but rather because the maintenance of hegemonic masculinity requires it. In this paper I explore the disruption of regulatory boundaries of the body that clearly define heterosexual in opposition to homosexual and examine the function of prison as carceral space in the constitution of masculinity and male, same sex desire. It will examine the sexual practices and performances of incarcerated sex offenders in three South Africa prisons and it is based on focus groups and individual interviews which were the basis of a larger research project.

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