Why does the prison population have a higher percentage of homosexuals?

by Thomas
(San Francisco)

Alcatraz Prison - now a National Park

Alcatraz Prison - now a National Park

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

That's a good question. Jump to Thomas' original question. The short answer is that engaging in homosexual acts doesn't mean someone has an innate homosexual orientation. In general, the situation in prison is that most prisoners do not have opportunity to have sex with an opposite sex partner.

For that reason, some prisoners engage in sex with same sex partners, without being homosexual and without self-identifying as homosexual.

Here's what Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family said about homosexual orientation.
"We do not believe anyone chooses his or her same-sex attractions. We concur with the American Psychological Association’s position (www.apa.org) that homosexuality is likely developmental in nature and caused by a 'complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.'"

-from the Love Won Out website. Love Won Out was part of Dr. James Dobson’s Focus On The Family and is now part of Exodus International.

Are homosexuals more prone to evil or are these people choosing that lifestyle while incarcerated?

No, homosexuals are not more prone to evil than other groups. Homosexuals are normal people. You see them and interact with them every day but you are often unaware of that fact because we are so normal.

Yes, many men in prison choose to engage in homosexual activity while incarcerated, as an outlet for sexual energy. I've seen percentages quoted of from 20% to 40% but I'm not sure how accurate those percentages are.

How do you know if you're homosexual?

How do I answer verses which seem to condemn gays?

105 questions answered from our ask a question page.

Thomas' Original Question:

If homosexuality is biological instead of a choice for the pleasures of this world, why does the incarcerated population have a drastically higher percent of homosexuals? Are homosexuals more prone to evil or are these people choosing that lifestyle while incarcerated?

Comments for Why does the prison population have a higher percentage of homosexuals?

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Oct 04, 2012
by: KW

Men are sexual beings. Boys will happily hump a matress, a hole in the wall, or whatever. It doesn't make them bedosexual or holeosexual. Clearly, prisoners denied of usual sexual partners seek the PHYSICAL GRATIFICATION of sexual release, substituting a male anus for a female vagina in an effort to duplicate the physical experience. However, for many, even most, the emotional connection is absent. These men are unlikely to fantasise over anuses, the way they would over a vagina.
However, with enough time, it is possible to condition onesself to develop emotional stimulation from acts that are initially alien to one's sexual nature. Witness the progression of activities for a person in the BDSM community for instance. Thus, it is likely, that the prison does contain a higher than normal number of genuine homosexuals, especially amongst long-term inmates.

Rick's comment: I believe you are confusing prison behavior with orientation. They are not the same because things different are not equal.

Oct 17, 2012
Two Separate Issues - Fallout
by: Terry

There are two very separate isseus here as Pastor Rick stated. Americans, in particular, seem to confuse these issues. There is sexual orientation, and there is sexual activity. A person can have no sexual activity, but have a strong sexual orientation. A person can be very active sexually - in alighment with their orientation, contrary to it, or both. Sexual activity and sexual orientation are two very different issues.

Another misconception is that there are only gays and heterosexuals. In fact a person can have an attraction to either gender ranging from very strong to absolute revulsion. A person may be strongly attracted to both genders, and would be (objectively) a bi-sexual. A person may have a weak attraction to one gender and a strong attraction to the other and would (subjectively) self-identify as either gay or heterosexual. And finally, a person may be revolted at the very idea of sex or intimacy with one gender while attracted to the other - that's where I find myself. I am completely homosexual, and when I was young and forced into situations with the opposite sex which seemed to have sexual overtones I would be near panic.

Jesus addressed the issue of the existence of homosexuals (with no judgement) when he spoke of the three types of eunuchs. I am now old, and past the sexual period in my life, but I am still just as much a homosexual as I was when I was young. What I have come to understand in my many years on this earth is that when a heterosexual is involved in homosexual activity, he/she is sinning against themselves and against another human with whom they cannot possibly establish a life-time, supportive and loving relationship. When a homosexual is involved in a heterosexual relationship, he/she is sinning against themselves and against another human with whom they cannot possibly establish a life-time, supportive and loving relationship that can be undivided.

I have seen many, many predominately homosexual men who married women for social acceptance and church acceptance; and the resultant families are then devastated when the need of the husband for emotional intimacy (which he cannot find with his wife) leads to divorce. Everyone in these tragic marriages is betrayed - the gay person betrays their own needs and their own humanity, the spouse who hoped for family and complete love is betrayed and the children who are left with one struggling and bitter parent are denied a childhood of love, safety and support.

Oct 17, 2012
Orientaion vs Behaviour
by: KW

You make a good distinction between these two Rick, however, I would like to know more about how homosexuals are identified amongst the prison population. Are they self-identified; identified by virtue of their behaviour, or by some other means?

Rick's comment: I don't have any empirical evidence to answer your question. From the prison ministry I have done, many innate homosexuals self-identify as such in prison and are a separate group from those who engage in gay sex merely to satisfy their needs because there are no women available.

KW continues: In asking the question "Are homosexuals more prone to evil or are these people choosing that lifestyle while incarcerated?" this article itself conflates behaviour with orentation.

However, if it IS valid to assume that by virtue of their higher than normal percentage of the population, it does imply that homosexuals are more inclined towards evil, then same conclusion must also be drawn about christians over atheists, as they also represent a disproportionate percentage of the US prison population too.

Rick's comment: There is such a thing as jail-house religion, people claiming to be saved so they can receive free Bibles and Christian books which they then barter for drugs or cigarettes or food. Not all who claim to be Christians are Christians.

Some jail-house religionists also scam Christians, writing tme letters and receiving money from their Christian penpals.

KW continues: In addition to asking whether this is merely behaviour, not orientation that is being identified, I think it would be worthwhile to consider whether the higher incidence of homosexuals may also reflect a greater likelihood of judges to imprison homosexuals due to personal moral bias - a massive likelihood in a country with such a high christian population.

Dec 23, 2012
by: Anonymous

first, sexual appetite is not defined by one's gender - that fallacy stems from outdated victorian misogyny (i.e. lie back and think of england).

secondly, just because two men are engaging in sex, it does not make them homosexuals. sexuality is a spectrum (kinsey scale).

thirdly, sometimes sex is simply about power/subjugation - not attraction or love.

Apr 24, 2013
by: Terry

KW, you seem to start from an assumption that there is a higher incidence of homosexually oriented persons in prison than in the population at large. I doubt this is the case, but only because most of the homosexual friends and acquaintences I have had over my lifetime have been more intelligent and less agressive than the average heterosexual I have known - so I do have a bias. You also assume that homosexuality is sinful, and this whole web-site is dedicated to helping people understand that sexual orientation is morally neutral. Love and devotion to God and humanity is the core of Christian spirituality and relationship with God. The Christian Churches in America seem inescapibly preoccupied with compiling lists of "sins" - and if you can satisfactorily avoid those activies God will love you. God does not look at our actions but our HEARTS (our motivations). If we do a "good deed" with evil intent - it is still sin. If we hurt someone, but only have their greatest good at heart - we have not sinned (but will still need to seek forgiveness from them for the hurt).
All this is to say that God is not as concerned with the gender of the person you bond for life with, as God is with how you honor that person and your commitment. As Christians, we need to learn to understand God's HEART and WILL, rather than struggling to compile lists of "do's and dont's" that will assure God's acceptance. Believe me, learning to love God and other people above our own wants and desires is much harder than working to comply with the particular list of "sins" that most churches compile.

Sep 28, 2015
what the Creator says as we know it
by: jw

you can talk about the orientation all you want, but the fact the Bible speaks very clearly about sex with the same gender is an abomination in the eyes of the one and only true God. He has never condoned it under any circumstance. Get right with His Way and quit trying to scientifically prove something which the Father had already set in stone!

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