Added: October 25, 2008 – Last updated: August 1, 2015


Authors: Helen Eigenberg and Agnes Baro

Title: If You Drop the Soap in the Shower You Are On Your Own

Subtitle: Images of Male Rape in Selected Prison Movies

Journal: Sexuality & Culture: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

Volume: 7

Issue: 4

Year: Fall 2003

Pages: 56-89

ISSN: 1095-5143 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1936-4822 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | U.S. History | Representations: Films; Types: Prison Rape, Same-Sex Rape; Victims: Men


Link: SpringerLink (Restricted Access)


Authors Helen Eigenberg, Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Assistant Studies, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


»Explores whether films about prison include the subject of male rape, and whether they portray it accurately in terms of existing literature on the subject. Examples of administrative responses designed to combat rape in prison; Methodology used for quantitative research on male rape; Significance of examining the social construction of a social problem.« (Source: EBSCOhost)

»Analyzes 15 movies to explore whether films about prison life include male rape & whether this is an accurate reflection of the existing literature. Each film is analyzed to determine if male rape is presented as a common occurrence, is an essential part of the plot of the movie, & if the victims & perpetrators fit the stereotypical profiles of those believed to be victims & offenders in the prison culture. It was found that 50% of the films included an attempted or completed rape & nearly 75% mentioned rape & treated it as a common prison event. Consensual homosexual behavior & prostitution were not represented. Physical force was usually involved, & the victim displayed fear, but resisted physically. Prison officials were portrayed as passively accepting the practice of male rape. The results stand in contrast to studies that have found male rape in prison to be a relatively rare event. The sensationalization of male rape in prison may contribute to its acceptance as a deterrent of crime & may discourage the moral outrage that such vulnerability should receive.« (Source: Sociological Abstracts)