Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Women police discriminated by male counterparts

For the past twenty years, it has been the law in the United States that police departments must hire people without regard to race or gender. However, the opportunity for women to participate in forming police policy has been strongly resisted, mainly by their male counterparts. Women in policing are not easily accepted by their male peers, their supervisors, or their own police departments; they are viewed with skepticism. The public is, however, more accepting, welcoming and more positive about women police.

The early history of women police consisted largely of social service in which women had to meet higher standards for police employment than males, but still received lower wages. They were not permitted to perform basic patrol duties. A lot of past research on women police has been focused on whether women were capable of performing police work as far as being physically and mentally fit for doing the work. Research has shown that women, indeed, do have the ability to perform the tasks because they are mentally and physically fit. Male officers perceive women officers to be failures; they doubt women can equal them in most job skills and do not see women officers doing real police work. Most men harass and resist women officers because they fear that women would violate departmental secrets about police corruption and violence.

Women officers are interviewed and asked about their experiences within law enforcement as far as feeling inequality in the workforce. Women admit that the negative attitudes towards them from men officers are the main reason for their disappointment with police work. They believe that the departments do not value women police and they feel unappreciated. Women feel a sense of discrimination as far as work assignments. Women, themselves, believe they bring special qualities to police work such as compassion, communication skills, and maturity. I can whole-heartedly agree with these beliefs. Women and men are different and bring different qualities to any kind of work in general.

We are all aware that the CJ major is male dominated but I tend to see a wide variety of females entering this line of work. Most women see it as an easy way to get a job because for most departments, they need more women within and it is almost a guaranteed hire. However, having men discriminate against the women in the field can cause even more issues when the women are performing work tasks. It could cause women to have a bias toward male offenders and be even more lenient on women offenders. Having women in the field can save a lot of male officers’ asses, especially in cases when male officers have to deal with women offenders. There have been cases where a woman offender has tried getting a male officer for sexual harassment, especially when they have to do full body checks. This is where having a female officer can save the department many issues. Men should be more appreciative and give credit to female officers. They carry out their tasks just as well as males and bring more qualities to police work.
Here is a video that gives a story on a woman within the police department who has been discriminated against.


  1. This is really sad to see how women are discriminated against in the criminal justice field. When I took women in criminal justice we learned about how this happens to women police officers more often then we would like to think. We learned the women face discrimination and inequality in the field the majority of the time since it's so male dominated. I feel like having women police officers are a great thing and sergeants shouldn’t be doing things to decrease their numbers. Female officer tend to be better at settling a situation with their words and use less force than male officers. In the future I think it would be beneficial to see how a more female dominated police force would compare to the typical male dominated ones today.

  2. I was really surprised at this article. As a female in this field I have been through several police tests and talked to several males in the criminal justice field. I did think that I would find resistance, but in fact everyone I talked to about it encouraged me to continue my pursuit to being a police officer. Personally I've had male officers tell me about how they need some more female officers, and talk about how much of an asset female officers are to the department, as you mentioned they are. I think maybe this depends on the department? Old school versus new? I had a few officers on smaller departments that really wanted me to apply to their department because I was someone they knew and they felt I personally would be a good addition to the department. I also had a lot of support from other female officers. This surprised me as sometimes girls can't get along as well as guys can, but many females also support other females and I think that's because they know the stigma we are going up against. I really enjoyed your article.

  3. Sorry Jamie but I'm not buying into this one. I'm not trying to personally attack you but the only references used in this is a 4 minute local news video and we all know how reliable the media can be. They'll do anything for a story and hardly ever base their conclusions on facts and without bias. Am I saying that discrimination doesn't happen? Of course not, but it's an ecological fallacy to take this one news story and try and apply it to all law enforcement agencies. I personally know a few different female officers and have never heard them complain about not being treated as an equal or not given the same opportunities as men. I would just like to see some more evidence behind this claim, that's all.