I'm from the Smethwick area. .
Allhood makes a good point though, I ain't ever been to the US or anything, read some stuff written by guys who did time there and stuff, can't say how true it is or not, or how much is for publicity, but from what I've read in various places, there are enough homosexuals/prostitutes in prison to account for most of what goes on, but certainly it is made to SOUND like rape is more common over there than here.
My point about it being over beef usually is along the lines of what Allhood said as well, it's about the guy losing his manhood. There was a story years about this guy who was a banger over here, supposedly a nutjob, he spiked some girls drink one day and had his way with her. Turned out girl had a brother who was quite psycho too, so the dude repaid it, quite literally, by grabbing the guy in a pub and. . well, you know the rest. Point is though, this was in the 90's at some point, and even to this day, anytime somebody mentions that guy as being a hard hitter, it always gets brought up "he aint shit, dude got bummed in a pub". In that way, it's a lot harder hitting than any kind of physical attack, though not a lot of people would be willing to do it still.
I always thought as long as you stand up for yourself, don't back down etc, you should be alright from anything like that inside anyway. I was always told just to never let anyone get away with anything if locked up, you gotta stand your ground, take a beatdown if you have to, just never lose your respect, it keeps you safe.