Stalin GULAG, male and femalehomosexualactivity was highly visible too. Although male homosexual relations were often marked with rape and sexual abuse of younger inmates at the hands of older or more ‘criminal’ inmates, some same-sex liaisons could be consensual. 7 Lesbian relationships, according to the GULAG memoirists, were less violent and often gendered – ‘masculinised’, tougher women cohabited with more submissive ‘feminine’ partners – and such couples mounted stiff resistance to the authorities’ attempts to separate them. 8
A handful of indictments and
used in the medical treatment of homosexuality by the Department of Sexopathology and offered to MVD officials as an effective means of combating homosexuality in prisons.
Although the cooperation between Soviet sexopathologists and MVD officials was mostly focused on male homosexuality, femalehomosexualactivity in prisons was also considered by MVD officials. For example, it was briefly discussed at the All-Union conference for the deputy chiefs of female penal colonies held in Moscow in 1973, the proceedings of which are contained in a brochure entitled