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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78475 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Female Correctional Administrators - Sugar and Spice Are Nice, but a Backbone of Steel Is Essential (From Women in Corrections, P 17-25, 1981 See NCJ-78474)
Author(s): J A Nallin
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the commonly held images of a woman's role in American society to explain the scarcity of female administrators in corrections and to urge women to persevere until they acquire equality in this male-dominated field.
Abstract: The United States is especially plagued by internal inconsistencies in the value structure of its society because of its roots in the cultural melting pot of so many nationalities. The characteristics tradition attributes to the ideal woman are in sharp contrast to those for a correctional administrator; warmth, sensitivity, grace, charm, compliance, and dependence are not conducive to projecting authority and responsibility. Women suffer guilt and fear of forfeiting all their feminine attributes if they embark upon a competitive career, especially in a field as closely associated with masculinity as corrections. For these complex reasons, both men and women have perpetuated occupational sex typing, and female entrants into corrections continue to be discouraged. Arguments about the harshness of institutional conditions are often true, but the attitudes and qualities needed for administrative success in this setting need not be couched in sexist terms to needlessly disqualify women. The emphasis in corrections on withstanding stress and operating under crisis has been the major obstacle to women's advancement to correctional decisionmaking positions because the myth holds women incapable of objectivity and logic. Reaching an administrative position by upward mobility is difficult because of the very few women currently in the ranks and because promotions require the aid of a mentor -- inevitably male. Advancement through educational qualifications requires breaking into the 'old boy' network of a closed male professional group. For women to succeed, they must help each other because female correctional administrators will remain the exception to the rule for a long time to come. Endnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Equal opportunity employment; Feminism; Sex discrimination
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