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NCJ Number: 99022 Find in a Library
Title: Police Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Rape
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:211-220
Author(s): J C LeDoux; R R Hazelwood
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents the initial findings of a 1984 nationwide survey of county and municipal police officers' attitudes toward rape.
Abstract: The survey used a stratified random sample of 3,000 sworn county and municipal officers. The sampling frame was based on the Uniform Crime Reports list of contributing agencies. Usable returns were received from 2,170 officers (72 percent response). The questionnaire solicited demographic and professional data as well as attitudiual responses to 39 statements on rape measured on a 4-point Likert scale. To ensure that factor analysis was appropriate, a global test of the significance of the eigenvalues tested whether the intercorrelations among the variables were significantly different from zero. Ten factors accounting for 49 percent of the variance were categorized into three groups dealing with the rape victim, the rapist, and the trial. Data indicate that officers are not typically insensitive to the plight of rape victims, but they are suspicious of victims who meet certain criteria, such as previous and willing sex with the assailant or provocative appearance or behavior. Respondents' attitudes toward the rapist were ambivalent. They appeared confused about whether or not rape is a sex crime. Officers strongly view rape as a serious crime, however, that deserves severe punishment. The respondents also generally believe that prosecutors, victims and potential jurors are not properly prepared to fulfill their assigned roles in a jury trial. There was a subset of officers with inappropriate negative attitudes toward rape victims. Supervisors should ensure that such officers are not assigned to sexual assault cases. Tabular data and 11 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Police attitudes; Rape; Rapists; Sexual assault victims
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=99022

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