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NCJ Number: 134908 Find in a Library
Title: Cop Culture and Homosexuality
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:65  Issue:1  Dated:(January-March 1992)  Pages:30-39
Author(s): M Burke
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The emergence of a national police organization in Great Britain called the Lesbian and Gay Police Association has provoked much controversy within the ranks of the nation's police service. As increasing numbers of forces consider protecting officers of various sexual orientations through provisions in their equal employment policies and the debate seems likely to continue.
Abstract: Several characteristics of the overall police culture affect the way officers comprehend homosexuality both outside and inside the Police Service. Police officers are generally conservative, conventional people who view homosexuality as a move away from the familial values they respect. The machismo aspect of police culture, embedded in such practices as gambling, sexism, and alcohol use, values masculinity at the expense of a homosexual orientation. Police officers often regard themselves as the society's guardians of morality who may see homosexuals as deviant elements that threaten a vulnerable community. Another characteristic of the police culture is pragmatism which generally makes officers reluctant to contemplate innovation, experimentation, or research; they are usually less likely than the general population to think in a progressive or unconventional fashion. Police officers exhibit a slightly higher degree of prejudice than the overall society and tend to stereotype minority groups; two characteristics that would make them more likely to be hostile toward homosexuals. While effective policing requires some degree of suspiciousness, officers often harbor high levels of suspiciousness toward minority groups; in particular, blacks, students, and homosexuals are viewed with suspicion because they tend to challenge the orthodox and often have a good understanding of the legal system. 22 notes and 20 references
Main Term(s): Foreign police; Police attitudes
Index Term(s): Discrimination against homosexuals; Great Britain/United Kingdom
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