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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165842 Find in a Library
Title: Gender Differences in Police Physical Ability Test Performance
Journal: American Journal of Police  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:(1996)  Pages:93-108
Author(s): M L Birzer; D E Craig
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 16
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of gender differences in police physical abilities tested two hypotheses: (1) female applicants would fail the physical ability test more often than male applicants; and (2) the physical ability selection test administered by the police agency would not measure critical tasks.
Abstract: Data were obtained on pass/fail rates of male and female applicants to a midwestern police agency between January 1985 and December 1993. A total of 841 applicants (743 males and 98 females) took the physical ability test during this time frame. In addition, job demand data were collected using a questionnaire listing 12 physical activities to identify actual job characteristics encountered by field patrol personnel. Results showed that females failed the physical ability test significantly more often than males. The study did not support the need to climb through a window or to drag and pull a 158- pound mannequin 30 feet in 9 seconds. Findings, however, supported other areas in which applicants might be tested for physical competence, such as pushing, balancing, and climbing and showed that the physical ability selection test did not depict actual physical tasks performed by police officers. Further research is suggested to validate police agency physical selection methods. 22 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Male female police performance comparisons
Index Term(s): Female police recruits; Gender issues; Performance requirements; Physical fitness; Physiological requirements; Police effectiveness; Police personnel selection; Police recruits; Police women; Sex discrimination
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