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NCJ Number: 218087 Find in a Library
Title: Undercover as Sex Workers: The Attitudes and Experiences of Female Vice Officers
Journal: Women & Criminal Justice  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:2005  Pages:25-41
Author(s): Lynda M. Baker
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed the attitudes and experiences of female vice police officers who posed as decoy prostitutes.
Abstract: The results of this study suggest that, for the officers, this role has both physical and psychological ramifications. Working as a decoy prostitute is a complex task for female vice police officers. Officers within the study characterized their decoy work as interesting, fun, and rewarding and some of them planed to capitalize on the experience in the Vice Unit to enhance their future careers in law enforcement. Some officers agreed that the work was humiliating and degrading especially when citizens of their city perceived them as street-level prostitutes. Dressing as a prostitute was not seen as distasteful because the officers did not dress provocatively. However, they expressed concern about speaking a language that was not part of their daily lives. Once involved in the role, the language soon became routine. None of the female vice officers had a problem with the comments of their male colleagues. It is also plausible to suggest that the police environment may be changing and male police officers are becoming more accepting of the role their female counterparts play in undercover sex-work operations. Undercover work as a prostitute places female officers in a difficult role that is at odds with their sense of who they are in real life. An in-depth study was conducted with seven female vice police officers in the summer and fall of 2003. The study examined what information was needed and used by female vice officers in their roles as decoy prostitutes, as well as their attitudes toward decoy sex work and their experiences as decoy prostitutes. References
Main Term(s): Police women
Index Term(s): Female sex roles; Females; Gender issues; Male/female police officer relations; Police field services units; Prostitution; Sex offense investigations; Vice control units
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