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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150284 Find in a Library
Title: New Lone Ranger: Policewomen on Patrol
Journal: American Journal of Police  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(1993)  Pages:47-75
Author(s): J Belknap; J K Shelley
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 29
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research examined policewomen's perceptions of obstacles they face in being viewed and accepted as police officers, with an emphasis on prior research on isolation and tokenism for policewomen.
Abstract: Data were collected through a five-page survey distributed at the first annual Ohio Policewomen's Conference held September 21 and 22, 1988, in London, Ohio. The survey included 20 closed-ended Likert scale questions and five open-ended questions. The items addressed four categories of perceptions believed to be important to the status of policewomen: visibility, acceptance by male coworkers, gender style differences in policing, and attitudes toward other policewomen. Demographic data on the respondents were collected to see if these characteristics were related to policewomen's perceptions. The 64 responses obtained accounted for 57.1 percent of the white attendees (91) and 41.7 percent of the African-American attendees (24). The study found that the most consistent characteristic significantly related to policewomen's perceptions and experiences was the percent of women in the department. Women from departments with 10 percent or fewer women were more likely than women from departments with a larger proportion of women to agree that they were viewed as women first and police officers second. They also agreed that they were only noticed when they had done a good job. Women from the departments with a smaller proportion of women were also more likely to believe that there were gender differences in policing styles. Other demographic variables found important were the level of education, years of experience, and age of the respondents. Those without a college education were more likely to agree that they were perceived as just another police officer and to experience support from their fellow officers. More experienced policewomen were more likely than less experienced policewomen to report being viewed as just another police officer, but policewomen with less experience were more likely to report receiving support for their ideas. Younger policewomen tended to be less likely than older policewomen to report feeling invisible, and older policewomen were more likely to believe policing would always be viewed as a male occupation, no matter what policewomen achieved. 8 tables and 59 references
Main Term(s): Police women
Index Term(s): Demography; Police attitudes; Police work attitudes
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