YOUR BROTHER, MY WIFE: Sex and gender behind bars

  • Sasha Gear Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
  • Kindiza Ngubeni Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
Keywords: prison, sex, gender, violence, sexual violence, South Africa


Many of us know that sex, sexual violence and varying levels of sexual coercion occur in our prisons. But the subject of sex in prison remains an uncomfortable one. While recent media reports and revelations on prison corruption have played a role in bringing it more into the public arena, generally not much is understood about the dynamics of sex in men’s prisons. This article provides some insight into the relationships of power and vulnerability that underpin much of the sex that is taking place in this context.

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