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  • Update on the research/survey

    I've had a couple people mention the results of the question I posted here asking for y'alls help. The following are some of my results. From here, I had 15 men and 5 women that either posted here or sent me PMs. I had upwards of 20+ that I didn't use either because they asked not to be included or their responses only covered one very small section and since I couldn't apply it across the board, I had to forego it. I had responses from real life surveys conducted off this medium.

    What I ultimately was looking for was whether or not female acceptance in LE has gotten easier or if the changes are merely on the surface and the findings if the IACP is still accurate. There was good and bad....so to speak.

    - States in the Southern part of the US are slower to implement hiring of females. They have higher reports and incidents of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. This was noted by female and male officers. The men mentioned the most common offenders in gender discrimination were older men from the “good old boy” network.

    -Sheriff Offices, regardless of location, hire considerably less women than Police Departments; some refuse to hire women except in the jail.


    -The majority of newer officers (those with less than five years service) stated they don’t see any difference in the treatment of women. Men and women stated that the attitude, dedication and drive of the person are what they are judged on.

    -Male officers with direct supervisors that are women stated they see little to no gender discrimination.

    -Many reported that sexual harassment (their wording, not mine) is extremely prevalent, though little reported. Men stated comments about female officers (not in their presence) are equal to locker room talk and brash. Females stated not reporting comments are better if they want to fit in; though they draw the line at touching or sexual assault.

    -The majority of Officers representing their agency reported that physical requirements in their State are the same for men and women. The majority men thought these standards were lower to allow women to compete and that any man should be able to pass the requirements while not all women could. (Didn't address this question on the board)


    That's part of the findings. Here's what I'm seeing. Those Officers with less than 5 years (give or take) don't see gender bias or discrimination happening. This is mostly true for men and women. That's impressive and shows that things are improving. The younger officers echoed a theme of persons being judged on ability, not gender.

    Officers (male and female) with ten or more years on seem to be able to see and recall active changes being made. While that doesn't sit well with everyone (men feel they have been overlooked for the sake of having a woman in a certain position and women feel their counterparts only think they GOT a position because they are female) it's still an overall positive thing from the comments I got.

    Gender bias- during promotion process women still endure comments about their sexuality if they are promoted before men. It's commonplace to remark and give assumptions that she was promoted because she was having sex with someone. (I found this disappointing, but it was commented on many times during the survey.)

    Sexual harassment- I can't call it sexual harassment because there isn't a "victim." And I won't call it sexual harassment because I don't think it is. Many men (weirdly enough) referred to it sexual harassment because it was in the presence of women, which isn't by definition sexual harassment. There is bawdiness to law enforcement that just "is." A common theme that I saw in women that have lasted in this field is that it is accepted. These women don't seem to mind because they share that same joking style of the ones around them. I don't refer to it as sexual harassment because the women said it's not directed at them...it's more or less locker room talk. I personally think it's part of that macabre humor that we have. A very common response by women (and I don't know that I can put it in words, but I get it because I feel the same way) is annoyance at some women who come into this field and complain about every little thing that bothers them, thereby making it harder on the rest of us.

    And that brings me to my last point. A women screwing the pooch at an agency (especially in use of force issues) has an impact on the rest of the women there. That doesn't seem to affect the men when the reverse is true.

    Oops...forgot one. An overwhelming majority commented at some point that LE is largely cerebral instead of physical. Some commented that tools of the trade have equalized the playing field for women; some men admitted they still have concerns over a partners physical ability, but noted they have felt the same regarding some smaller male's abilities as well.
    Last edited by Smurfette_76; 09-26-2009, 03:47 PM.
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    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

  • #2
    Great stuff Smurf, very valid. Thanks for sharing.

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    • #3
      I like your study, thanks for lettin us know how it turned out!

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      • #4
        Very interesting. I remember from grad school that a survey of 10,000+ is statistically significant, but I'd be real surprised to see the results you found not be statistically significant because they seem to reflect what I've seen and known from the 3 LE agencies I've worked with.
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        • #5
          Thanks for posting your results! Interesting, I guess kind of what I expected - was it what you expected? Was there a part that surprised you?

          This struck me, and I don't think I brought it up in my post in your thread:
          These women don't seem to mind because they share that same joking style of the ones around them.
          I don't really have the same style, but I grew up with 4 brothers so "locker room talk" never seemed odd to me! lol I don't even swear (just doesn't work with my voice!) and that seemed to bother men at first, but once they realize that it didn't bother me if they did, they were cool.

          Being from northern MN it's interesting to read about the differences in the south.
          "Of course America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."

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          • #6
            Thanks for the update.

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            • #7
              Nikk, that part struck me too, because I realized it was true for me!

              The guys are still getting to know me, so they aren't sure how far they can go without offending. It takes a lot to push me the wrong way, but you can't really just tell someone that - they have to figure it out. For the most part they don't seem to be censoring themselves that much, which is good -I don't want them to change anything on my account.

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