Faculty Research at Morehead State University


The Evolving Nature of Prison Argot and Sexual Hierarchies

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Prison argot and sexual hierarchies have consistently been found to be present in U.S. correctional facilities. However, recent years have seen very few studies that focus specifically on argot labels and sexual hierarchies that exist in prisons. Using data collected from 174 face-to-face structured interviews with male inmates in multi security-level correctional facilities in Oklahoma, we found many similarities and differences with previous research on the issues of argot labels and the sexual hierarchy. For example, inmates who engage in same-sex sexual activity continue to be labeled based on the sexual role they portray in the institution. However, the findings of the present study suggest that the nature of these sexual relationships is changing.