Public Interest Law Reporter


Mariah Woodson

Document Type



Toxic masculinity is a concept that has been in modern society for some time now. However, the recent release of the controversial Gillette razor commercial has sparked an uptick in discussions, from those who lauded the company for addressing the negative traits often associated with traditional masculinity to those who felt as though the company was unfairly targeting masculinity altogether. Regardless of where one falls on the debate, there is no denying the need for conversation. One point of discussion is what areas of our society embody these traits the most? An area that may be less intuitive are prisons and the criminal justice system. According to a study released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2016, there were 1,395,141 male prisoners under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities compared to 111,616 female prisoners. The disparity of male prisoners to female prisoners has led a few to conclude that incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment. Not only that, but the rate of men incarcerated in the United States could make traits of toxic masculinity more prevalent. This article will explore why this may be the case and why the negative effects of hegemonic masculinity on inmates have not been addressed.