Paul Cameron
Do homosexual prisoners deserve special treatment?
By Paul Cameron
October 11, 2023

The 2011-2012 National Inmate Survey of over 80,000 inmates drawn from US jails and prisons is part of a federal effort to reduce rapes in prison. While the well-established homosexual/ criminal link turned up in this multimillion-dollar study, the ‘big news’ is its conclusion:

    There is disproportionate incarceration, mistreatment, harsh punishment, and sexual victimization of sexual minority inmates, which calls for special public policy and health interventions.”

How could a questionnaire survey of prisoners – that is, what prisoners said, prove that homosexuals are more frequently unjustly imprisoned, mistreated while incarcerated, and lead those of the UCLA Law School, writers of the report, to conclude gays’ more frequent claims of victimization require us to provide “special public policy and health interventions”? Such logic doesn’t meet scholarly standards, legal standards, or the good sense assumed in a refereed journal.

Prisoners are as smart as those posing questions and, believe it or not, have been known to lie, exaggerate, and misperceive. And just because a questionnaire is treated seriously by the giver doesn’t mean it will be treated as such by respondents. Even if inmates are asked to be honest and assured ‘no one will know what you say,’ trusting them to tell the whole unvarnished truth is foolish – they are prisoners. Prisoners know their answers may affect them, others they know, their alliances (religious, racial, or sexual), and their future. As such, even thinking of changing social policy because of prisoners’ claims is insane.

Answers to surveys appearing in emails, presented by strangers at front doors, or in class may be somewhat reasonably assumed to be ‘true’ because ‘truth is the easiest response.’ The same cannot be assumed for the incarcerated. The conclusion written by UCLA Law School scholars is obviously not due to naïveté, but trying to advance the LGBT cause.

In the ‘non-prison world,’ it is almost NEVER possible to prove the veracity of what a respondent says (and if is about their childhood, how could we check?). With prisoners – who are under almost constant surveillance and control – what is to be made of their claims of having been sexually victimized? In this report, the US government paid pro-homosexual investigators to proceed as though prisoners are about as likely to tell the truth and then lean on those claims to try to influence public policy toward greater support of the gay movement!

To their credit, the UCLA authors were pro-gay up front. They dismissed “early research that discussed the incarceration of sexual minorities” as “often in the context of the criminalization of sodomy, presuppose[ing] that sexual minorities were the aggressors or ‘abnormal deviants’” and “after the mid-1970s, with the beginning of the decriminalization of sodomy, scholars and advocates shifted the discourse to understanding sexual minorities through the lens of antidiscriminatory principles to see lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people as a group targeted in hate crimes and other forms of bias.” [doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303576]. The American Public Health Association [APHA], as with so many professional associations based largely on social science (as the American Psychological and Sociological Associations), thinks society should be changed. The APHA is not primarily a ‘scientific’ organization (which would imply that it expends most of its energies seeking empirical truths). It is an advocacy organization seeking “to shape public policy as…eliminating health disparities… climate change” etc. while doing some empiricism.

Their values led authors to assume homosexuals would be less frequent among inmates. Why? Because gays are oppressed, and to the woke, the oppressed are the ‘righteous.’ They would have us dismiss the traditional theory of how society works and all the scientific findings that line up behind it. Instead of assuming that the sexually deviant would likely deviate from sanctioned sexual choices as well, homosexuality should be considered ‘normal and healthy.’ We must regard homosexuality as normal, so it makes sense to protect it with “antidiscriminatory principles.”

The investigators bragged “we are the first, to … describe incarcerated sexual minority men and women separately.” Think of it: just a decade ago, there was no automatic trans category in federal surveys. Here scholars knew the difference between men and women! Amazing. With the US Supreme Court’s creation of trans rights in 2017, lawyers have canceled the scientific ‘look and see’ in favor of the legal ‘you must ask – it is a right.’

The lead author told Reuters “the proportion of women in prisons and jails identifying as lesbian and bisexual is eight times greater than the 3.4 percent of U.S. women overall who identify as lesbian or bisexual.” “The high rate was so shocking, I had to check it three times to make sure we weren’t making any mistakes. …some people still don’t believe it” (12/23/16).

Although they validated what most studies showed and tradition believes, “some people [his woke colleagues and students?] still don’t believe” that these ‘righteous victims’ were so disproportionately in the slammer. Indeed, “sexual minorities (those who self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual or report a same-sex sexual experience before arrival at the facility) were disproportionately incarcerated: 9.3% of men in prison, 6.2% of men in jail, 42.1% of women in prison, and 35.7% of women in jail were sexual minorities. The incarceration rate of self-identified lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons was 1,882 per 100?000, more than 3 times that of the US adult population.”

Perhaps homosexuals committed more of the ‘milder’ kinds of crimes? No, just the opposite. When the authors divided crimes into “violent sexual, violent nonsexual, and other (including property and drug offenses and parole violations)” they reported that homosexuals “were more likely … to have committed … violent sexual and nonsexual crimes.” This is evidence that fits the traditional view that homosexuals “were the aggressors or ‘abnormal deviants!’”

In line with almost all large government surveys, in which homosexuals more frequently report rape: “12% of homosexuals claimed to have been “sexually victimized by another inmate and 5.4% reported being sexually victimized by staff, compared with 1.2% and 2.1%, of heterosexual inmates.” LGBs also reported higher rates of solitary confinement, having been “sexually victimized as children,” and answered as more frequently having “psychological distress.” The prisoners’ reports may be true, exaggerations, lies or ?

Prisoners frequently claim they got ‘framed’ or are being discriminated against. Interviews with prisoners are hardly an ‘objective way’ to evaluate the fairness of sentences, treatment, or having been raped while incarcerated. And even though homosexuals were more frequently incarcerated for violent crimes (and might be more defiant), the UCLA authors decided LGBs unfairly got “harsh punishment and sexual victimization” while in prison.

If there is no way to know, and inmates have all kinds of reasons to dissemble, why waste money to know inmates’ answers? The US already spends ~$40K/year/inmate to protect us from the incarcerated. They are already under almost constant surveillance and control. What more can we do, and at what cost, to protect them from each other (and staff) sexually?

It could be considered useful to have prisoners validate the homosexuality-is-linked-to-criminality findings from previous social science. However, the major issue with this study isn’t academic but practical. Why start ‘protecting prisoners from rape’ by assembling prisoners’ claims? And then, how are we to use the resulting dubious statistics?

Inmates’ answers about sexual preferences may be close to the truth – there doesn’t appear to be an advantage in lying about it. However, the clinical literature is full of homosexuals justifying their activities by claiming victimization. How much of gays’ more frequent reporting of rape, child victimization, etc. is posturing to gain advantage and how much is ‘the truth?’ And how would you prove which you thought the more likely? Asking more questions would hardly ‘do it,” and answers that give inmates power (as over the staff for sexual impropriety) are even more suspicious.

Once the decision was made to start with a survey (and millions of dollars expended), it was undoubtedly tempting to make the same assumptions about prisoner respondents as we do respondents in ‘the real world.’ But then – if we assume all reports as about equally ‘true’ – we end up, as with this report, seeking to give the more frequent exaggerators or liars special treatment!

As far as I can tell, ~$15 million dollars/year are being spent on these interviews alone. This study is yet another reason to question massive government expenditures that lead to strange places. Rape is illegal outside and within institutions. In a perfect world, prisoners would never be raped – but then no one on the outside should ever be raped either. A general policy change is unlikely to affect prisoners’ rate of rape unless it involves still more surveillance. We could hardly justify the expense of assuring no inmate was ever alone with another person by assuring a guard was always ‘right there’ even though we would undoubtedly reduce rape.

Examine again the conclusion of this important report (important because many a congressional staffer, jurist, reporter, or bureaucrat will read and act on it since it is the only ongoing, large, study with a reasonably representative sample on some of these issues):

    There is disproportionate incarceration, mistreatment, harsh punishment, and sexual victimization of sexual minority inmates, which calls for special public policy and health interventions.”

The authors, working for an institution (UCLA) in favor of gay rights, overflowed with woke ideas. They assumed homosexuals less frequently ‘deserved’ incarceration. Their evidence for this canard? Homosexuals’ disproportionate imprisonment! Just as the fact that proportionately fewer blacks are surgeons proves racism, proportionately more LGB inmates prove biased law enforcement. If homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality, as the woke assert, imprisonment ought to be proportionate to their representation in the general population!

Sure enough, Reuters – among the most quoted press associations in the world – repeated their essentially baseless claim (12/23/16): “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) individuals are disproportionately incarcerated, mistreated and sexually victimized in U.S. jails and prisons, researchers say.” Notice Reuters generously added trans (which wasn’t asked about), but unlike what is likely to appear in other accounts of this report, also responsibly added “researchers say.”

Another example of US tax dollars doing near-useless things to advance the LGBT cause.

© Paul Cameron


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Paul Cameron

Dr. Paul Cameron was the first scientist to document the harmful health effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. He has published extensively on LGBT issues in refereed scientific journals. In 1978 he predicted that equal treatment of homosexuality and heterosexuality would strongly favor growing homosexuality and shrinking heterosexuality. His prediction is coming true.


Receive future articles by Paul Cameron: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it!

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Peter Lemiska
Last chance to save the soul of the nation

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 15: Conflict Theory and the Hegelian Dialectic

Michael Bresciani
The fine line between ignorance and idiocy

Jeff Lukens
Congressional spending goes full Weimar

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Scriptural sobriety: Rethinking wine in the Lord’s Supper

Cherie Zaslawsky
April 13th, 2024: Iran’s shocking dress rehearsal

Jerry Newcombe
Is America a 'failed historical model?'

Victor Sharpe
The current malignancy of America's Fourth Estate

Tom DeWeese
The University of Tennessee uses our taxes to advocate radical energy agenda. I took them to court!

Bonnie Chernin
Pro-abortion Republicans

Cliff Kincaid
Make Sodom and Gomorrah Great Again

Pete Riehm
The FISA debate misses the point again
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites