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NCJ Number: 227861 Find in a Library
Title: Gateway to Reform?: Policy Implication of Police Officers' Attitudes Toward Rape
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2008  Pages:44-58
Author(s): Amy Dellinger Page
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to determine police officers' attitudes toward rape, a survey was administered to 891 sworn police officers in 2 States in the Southeastern United States.
Abstract: Although Ward (1995) determined that the actual incidence of false reports of rape was between 1 and 4 percent, the police officers in the current study rated this percentage much higher; 10 percent of the officers believed that between 51 and 100 percent of women lie about being raped. Fifty-three percent of the officers indicated that between 11 percent and 50 percent of women give false reports of rape. The actual percentage of false reports of rape, however, is comparable to that of any other crime. In addition, police officers who accepted myths about the settings, conditions, and methods of rape were less likely to believe reports of victims who did not adhere to the stereotyped "genuine victim" who is raped with the use of physical force or under the threat of a weapon. These findings suggest that legal reforms pertinent to how the criminal justice system handles rape will not have their intended effect as long as police officers who investigate rape cases have attitudes that bring bias to how they view rape reports. The author cautions against generalizing these findings to a wider population of police officers, given the low response rate for the survey (30 percent) and the specific geographical and cultural context in which the officers live and work. 2 tables and 25 references
Main Term(s): Police attitudes
Index Term(s): Rape; Rape investigations; Rape law reform; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims
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