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Contemporary Snapshot of Policewomen Attitudes

NCJ Number
Women and Criminal Justice Volume: 19 Issue: 1 Dated: January-March 2009 Pages: 60-79
Philip E. Carlan; Elizabeth C. McMullan
Date Published
January 2009
20 pages
This study examined historical stereotypes that portrayed women police officers as feminine beings incapable of modulating anxieties associated with police demands.
Findings from this study suggest that women officers are mentally tough and resilient. Professionalism, job satisfaction, and stress among policewomen in this study demonstrated a condition of psychological health and did not differ significantly from those of male officers. The overall confidence of policewomen also appeared to be quite high and nearly the same as that of male officers. Generally, women officers hold strong beliefs that they are good police officers. The findings support the premise that policewomen are capable of modulating the demands of policing. Policewomen have historically had a tough time gaining acceptance from male counterparts; despite many gains through the years, women continue to face obstacles during the course of police operations. Male officers often promote the subordination of policewomen, and, because of this, some degree of emotional deterioration among women officers would be understandable. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of such a hypothesis. The evaluation entailed sending questionnaires to all municipal police departments in 1 Southern State with 50 or more sworn personnel and produced 1,114 responses from 16 departments. Tables, references, and appendix