Experiences of transgender prisoners and their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding sexual behaviors and HIV/STIs: a systematic review

Bromdal, Annette and Mullens, Amy B. and Phillips, Tania M. and Gow, Jeff (2018) Experiences of transgender prisoners and their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding sexual behaviors and HIV/STIs: a systematic review. International Journal of Transgenderism. ISSN 1553-2739

Abstract

Background: Despite transgender people being more visible in prison systems, research suggests they are at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence compared to other prisoners. Research also suggests that transgender prisoners experience harassment, and physical and sexual assault by fellow prisoners, and prison officers who lack transgender-specific health knowledge. There exist no systematic reviews on the experiences of transgender people in prisons. This review aims to fill this research gap. The following question developed in consultation with transgender, sexual health/HIV and corrective services stakeholders has guided the systematic review: What are transgender and gender-diverse prisoners’ experiences in various prison settings and what are their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding sexual behaviors and HIV/STIs?

Methods: The review followed the PRISMA guidelines and searches were conducted in four databases for the period of January 2007 to August 2017. Studies were assessed against predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Included studies were peer-reviewed, written in English with online full-text availability and reported data on transgender and gender-diverse prisoner experiences relevant to the research question.

Results: Eleven studies (nine qualitative, one quantitative, one mixed-methods; nine in USA, two in Australia) met the criteria for review. Four studies were of high quality, six were of good/acceptable quality, and one study was of modest quality. Transgender and gender-diverse prisoners reported a range of challenges which included sexual assault, discrimination, stigma, harassment, and mistreatment. Information on their sexual health and HIV/STIs knowledge, attitudes, practices is in short supply. Also, their lack of access to gender-affirming, sexual health/STIs and mental health services is commonplace.

Conclusions: The experiences of transgender prisoners as reported in this review are almost uniformly more difficult than other prisoners. Their 'otherness' is used as a weapon against them by fellow prisoners through intimidation and violence (including sexual) and by prison officers through neglect and ignorance.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 35188
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 22 November 2018. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 06:06
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 02:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender-diverse; incarceration; lived experiences; prison officers; sexual coercion; transgender; vulnerable group
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/15532739.2018.1538838
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35188

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only