Chelsea Clark

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dana Hysock Witham

Second Advisor

Melissa Swauger

Third Advisor

Christian Vaccaro


Correctional facilities are hyper-masculine settings where men are expected to behave in traditionally gendered ways (i.e. tough, aggressive) and their performance of masculinity is more strongly policed than when they occupy more gender neutral spaces. When men suffer from physical abuse or sexual assault in prisons, they may be unlikely to report their victimization due to these gendered expectations and the stigma associated with being a victim (i.e. wimp, weak). This study examines helping professionals’, who provide victim support service, perceptions and interactions with male inmates. I draw on Symbolic Interactionism as the theoretical framework for my study. I conducted mixed gendered interviews among ten helping professionals in the state of Pennsylvania. This study will inform helping professionals to better assist incarcerated men who are victims of sexual assault.