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The Doctors discuss the influx of penpal websites that are allowing women to connect with men behind bars! These relationships are becoming so common that there are even dating sites and how-to tutorials on YouTube. The Doctors meet two women who have had such relationships, Deanna and Amanda.
Deanna dated a prisoner for over a decade and today he is her best friend! She had just left an abusive relationship in 2003 and her girlfriend suggested she try a penpal... and then went ahead and sent a letter on Deanna's behalf. After reading the response back, Deanna began an emotional relationship with this man over mail. She says they both encouraged each other in pursuing their respective educations and today he's her biggest supporter and cheerleader. She explains it was less romantic but became a friendship.
Amanda has a different experience and is now married to her inmate penpal. She advises women getting into this type of relationship to do a thorough background check.
Kash Hasworth, the creator of one of these penpal dating sites, joins The Doctors in the audience. He explains many of these incarcerated men are there because they weren't exposed to the right information, mentors, and programs. He believes fostering these relationships with women will help inmates have positive influences in their lives and stop their unhealthy behaviors. It gives them a support network, but for the women involved, psychiatrist Dr. Ish Major says he hates this idea!
"I see the fallout when this thing goes bad. We pick the person we feel like we deserve. If you feel like all you deserve is someone in prison, then that tells me a lot about you," says Dr. Ish. He says this is the ultimate bad boy situation and those men are called "bad" for a reason!
Dr. Ish continues on about this being a co-dependent relationship and a lot of these men have antisocial personalities and are skilled in manipulating these women. In a less extreme context, Dr. Ish explains why women like "bad boys." He shares a study which found the harder a woman has to work to make a guy smile, the happier she is when he ultimately does."
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes for some people, like their two guests, this does work out. However, Dr. Ish clarifies they are the exception, not the rule.