This report presents the findings from the Queensland component of a National Health and Medical Research Council funded study of New South Wales and Queensland prisoners’ sexual health and behaviours. Comparisons of the Queensland and New South Wales components of this survey can be found in Appendix 1.
- About half the prisoners in the survey were aged 30 years or younger; men were aged from 18 to 78 years and women from 18 to 61 years. This is similar to the age of the general Queensland prisoner population.
- Most men (95%) self-identified as heterosexual and were attracted exclusively or mostly to women (96%) whereas 63% of women identified as heterosexual and 75% were attracted exclusively or mostly to men. Almost 3 in 10 women (28%) identified as bisexual.
- Most women in the sample (84%) had been pregnant. The median age of first pregnancy was 18 years, and the women had had an average of 2.3 children.
- Three-fifths of women prisoners (compared with 21% in an Australian community survey) had been forced or frightened into some sort of sexual activity at some time in their lives. The median number of episodes of forced sexual activity was 2, with some women reporting up to 500 events. This highlights the exposure of women in this population to high levels of violence and trauma.
- Prisoners’ attitudes to statements on a range of sexual matters (e.g. explicit films, sex before marriage, abortion) were remarkably consistent with those expressed by the general community. However, male prisoners were more intolerant of male-to-male sex than men in the general community.