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NCJ Number: 49056 Find in a Library
Title: EXPECTATIONS WHICH HAVE SHAPED WOMEN'S ROLE IN POLICING NEW YORK CITY (NY)
Author(s): J L SICHEL
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MANNER IN WHICH ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS HAVE INFLUENCED BOTH THE UTILIZATION AND PERFORMANCE OF WOMEN IN POLICING IS EXAMINED. EMPHASIS IS ON WOMEN IN POLICE WORK IN NEW YORK CITY.
Abstract: THE NOTION THAT ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS CAN INFLUENCE PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED IN MUCH RESEARCH; THE LIMITING EFFECTS CAN BE SEEN BOTH IN THE HISTORICAL AND CURRENT EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN IN POLICING. EARLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN INVOLVED MATRON DUTY, AND LATER CLERICAL DUTIES. SEGREGATION OF WOMEN INTO DUTIES THAT POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND THE WIDER SOCIETY FELT WERE SUITABLE CONTINUED UP UNTIL 1971 WHEN POLICEWOMEN WERE ASSIGNED ON AN EXPERIMENTAL BASIS TO NEIGHBORHOOD TEAMS. BUT EVEN HERE, WOMEN WERE LIMITED IN THEIR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE POTENTIAL FOR WOMEN FUNCTIONING INTERCHANGEABLY WITH MEN WAS NOT ACTUALIZED. IN 1973, THE NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALLY ABOLISHED THE 'POLICEWOMAN' DESIGNATION, REPLACING IT WITH THE UNISEX TITLE OF 'POLICE OFFICER.' THE POLICEWOMEN'S BUREAU WAS ABOLISHED, AND WOMEN BEGAN TO ACQUIRE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF PATROL EXPERIENCE. BEFORE WOMEN BEGAN TO PERFORM PATROL DUTIES, MOST MALE OFFICERS FELT THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO PERFORM IN DANGEROUS OR VIOLENT SITUATIONS, THAT THEY WOULD LOSE THEIR SELF-CONTROL, OR THAT THEIR PRESENCE WOULD ENDANGER THE SAFETY AND/OR MARRIAGES OF THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. ACTUAL EXPERIENCE PROVED THESE EXPECTATIONS TO BE UNFOUNDED; WOMEN ON PATROL COULD WORK SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY, AND WERE MORE SIMILAR TO THAN DIFFERENT FROM MALE OFFICERS. HOWEVER, A STUDY FOUND THAT WOMEN ON TWO-MAN PATROLS WITH MALES WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE LESS ACTIVE, TO HANG BACK FROM PHYSICALLY STRENUOUS ACTIVITY, TO ASSERT LESS CONTROL OVER CITIZENS OR IN DECISIONMAKING, AND TO BE LESS OFTEN CREDITED WITH ARRESTS. THAT TWO-WOMAN PATROLS BEHAVED MORE ACTIVELY AND ASSERTIVELY PROVIDES SOME SUPPORT FOR THE NOTION THAT MEN TENDED TO OVERCOMPENSATE IN THEIR BEHAVIOR ON THE BASIS OF THE NEGATIVE ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS THEY HELD ABOUT WOMEN PATROL PARTNERS. IN ADDITION, THE NEGATIVE MALE ATTITUDES ALSO APPEARED TO AFFECT THE WOMEN'S SELF-CONFIDENCE AND RESULT IN THE WOMEN CASTING THEMSELVES IN THE EXPECTED PASSIVE ROLES. TRAINING TO SENSITIZE BOTH SUPERVISORS AND MALE LINE OFFICERS TO THEIR NEGATIVE ATTITUDES AND THEIR EFFECTS, AND ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING FOR WOMEN OFFICERS COULD PERMIT WOMEN TO BETTER ACTUALIZE THEIR POTENTIALS IN POLICE WORK. AN ABSTRACT OF THE STUDY CITED IS ALSO PROVIDED. (JAP)
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Discrimination; Effectiveness; Equal opportunity employment; New York; Police attitudes; Police manpower deployment; Police women; Role conflict; Role perception; Self concept; Work attitudes
Note: PREPARED FOR THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON CRIME AND DELINQUENCY CONFERENCE, MIAMI, FLORIDA, JUNE 18-21, 1978
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49056

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