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Attitudes of College Students Toward Women in Policing

NCJ Number
Women and Criminal Justice Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Dated: July-September 2009 Pages: 235-250
Calvin Wesley Haba; Robert A. Sarver III; Rhonda R. Dobbs; Mary B. Sarver
Date Published
July 2009
16 pages
This study examined attitudes toward women in policing among undergraduate college students.
Findings show that college students held generally favorable attitudes toward women in policing. It was anticipated that male college students would be less supportive of women in policing; however, the hypothesis regarding gender and support for women in policing was only partially supported. A significant relationship between gender and attitudes toward women in policing was found in the comparison of mean scores for the support for women in policing index with women showing more support. However, there was no significant impact of gender on the multivariate ordinary least squares (OLS) results. Feminist orientation was a significant predictor of support for women in policing in the overall sample and in both the male and female subsamples, and seems to be the key factor in explaining support for women in policing. Race/ethnicity did not seem to significantly impact the level of support for women in policing. Although there were significant mean differences in support for the police by race/ethnicity, there was no significant difference in support for women in policing. It is believed that student attitudes toward women in policing may be used as a barometer of the attitudes within police departments toward women in policing. Given the increased educational requirements for entering the policing profession, many of today's Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRCJ) students will become tomorrow's police personnel. Data were collected from male and female students who were taking courses in CRCJ or the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program at the University of Texas at Arlington during the fall semester 2006. Tables and references