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Girls, Why Do You Want to Become Police Officers?: Career Goals/Choices Among Criminal Justice Undergraduates

NCJ Number
Women and Criminal Justice Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Dated: April-June 2009 Pages: 120-136
Youngyol Yim
Date Published
April 2009
17 pages
This study examined career goals among criminal justice (CJ) undergraduates based on gender differences.
Results indicate that there are gender differences in terms of career choices and interests; men are more likely than women to pursue law enforcement (LE) careers; men are less likely than women to hold favorable attitudes toward women CJ practitioners; and women are more likely than men to perceive themselves as having a lower level of competency as a future police officer. It does not appear that a women's visibility in the CJ system has improved since 1996, especially in the role of police officers working in the system. Findings suggest that the focus should shift from the question of whether women are capable of performing law enforcement jobs to how can gender issues be actively and effectively incorporated into the curriculum, the CJ system in general, and policing specifically. Collaboration between universities and police agencies is a critical first step. Data were collected from 256 undergraduates majoring in CJ at an urban university located in a metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States. Tables and references