Sex Matters in Prison and in Crime Statistics


Feminists in the UK have struggled to understand how their government approves of allowing biological males with intact genitalia to be transferred to women's prison. After all, there have been several cases of this ending in rape, such as the infamous Karen White case in the UK, but also the Janiah Monroe case in the US have both hit the mainstream press, but there are other attacks that have not. These women are helpless behind bars, and have no say in whether one of these males is assigned to be their roomate.

Clare Dimyon from the UK has done some digging into the statistics, and her findings are well worth considering. She finds that in the UK, 99% of those serving sentences for sexual offenses are male. In addition, 88% of those these 99% attacked were women. In fact she finds that "at no point in the two decades since 2001 has the percentage of male sexual offenders dropped below 99% . . . In numbers, for England & Wales (with a population of 59.1 million at 30 June 2018), the number of male sexual offenders hovers between 12,000-13,000, whereas the number of ‘female’ sexual offenders in any given year has never reached 130."

There are a couple of strong take-aways here. The first is that women have every right to fear sexual assault by male-bodied persons. The figures are so stark, so overwhelming, that one would have to be completely perverse to argue otherwise. Male sexual assault against captive, defenseless females must be assumed, not hypothesized.

The second take-away is that the number of female sexual offenders is so small that it takes little to corrupt statistics about propensity to offend. Only 3.9% of the prison population is female; 96% of the prison population is male. In the UK, when male prisoners self-id as female, their crimes become "women's crimes." As the author notes, "I cannot stress enough that the sex-specific sexual offender statistics are VITAL for the protection of women and girls from rape and other sexual offences, especially for rational decisions about safe-guarding in, for example, NHS hospitals. . . . To conclude, the incidence of male sexual offending could not be more different from female sexual offending: there are over one hundred times more male sexual offenders. Beyond the incidence (ie frequency), there is the completely different character of female sexual offending, in which zero of those sexually offended against are adult males. Lest that leave a false impression, and for the avoidance of all doubt, the majority of sexual offences against children are committed by male adults and children and the ratio by sex of those ‘sexually offended against‘ before their 16th birthday is a 5:1 female:male ratio."

In 2020, the author offered additional analysis worth considering: "the MoJ has acknowledged that, “Since 2010, out of the 124 sexual assaults that occurred in the female estate a total of seven of those were sexual assaults against females in custody perpetrated by transgender individuals. The Daily Mail estimates that “although trans women make up about one per cent of the 3,600 female jail population, they are to blame for 5.6 per cent of sexual assaults there.” Consider: 7 known rapes perpetrated by transgender individuals, divided by 13,000 (male sex crimes for which males have been imprisoned) is a miniscule number. But 7 divided by 125 (female sex crimes for which females have been imprisoned) is 5.6%. The addition of these male crimes to female crime statistics corrupts our understanding of reality. These male crimes should never be included in female crime statistics.

It matters not one whit what gender identity is recorded for prisoners. What really, really matters is what sex is recorded for prisoners. These sexual assaults are male crimes and male-pattern crimes. We cannot "see" the world around us if our eyes have been blinded by witholding the crucial variable of sex from these crimes. Public policy needs to be firmly rooted in reality to be effective and humane. These heart-breaking letters from women in California prisons where men are now being housed are the tip of the iceberg.

Consider that in the UK, biological males with intact genitalia are being housed with women on hospital wards and in mental institutions--with predictable and disastrous results for women. One of the foundational facts about our world is that a good percentage of men will sexually assault vulnerable women. Why have we as a society decided we should make it easier for them to do so? Are women worth so little that the feelings of biological males are more important than women's safety and women's lives?

I feel I have lived through a time in which women's rights were at their (relative) zenith, only to see women's basic rights rolled back to where no one cares if a biologically male sex offender is housed in a cell with a woman who has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, nothing wherewith to defend herself. May we all hang our heads in shame. For shame! For shame!