Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Joanne Belknap

Second Advisor

Sanyu Mojola

Third Advisor

Hillary Potter


The significant rise in incarceration rates in the United States, which started in the 1980s and only recently leveled off, was disproportionately experienced by women. Research on women’s pathways to incarceration indicates lives fraught with adverse events, particularly sexual abuse. The current study is a partial replication of the McDaniels-Wilson and Belknap (2008) study on Ohio incarcerated women’s self-reported sexual abuse histories, overall using the same measurement instruments, but in more Ohio women’s prisons. The data in this study provide a more recent picture of the sexual abuse histories of these incarcerated women. Unlike the existing McDaniels-Wilson and Belknap (2008) publication, this study includes findings on the relationships between the women’s sexual abuse histories and their self-reported substance addictions as well as their race/ethnicity and provides a comparison of the various categories of sexual abuse violations across the two data sets.