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An Overview of Attitudes toward Women in Law Enforcement

Esther J. Koenig
Public Administration Review
Vol. 38, No. 3 (May - Jun., 1978), pp. 267-275
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/975681
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/975681
Page Count: 9
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An Overview of Attitudes toward Women in Law Enforcement
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Abstract

In many police departments throughout the country, female police officers are now performing the same duties as their male counterparts. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature concerning the changes in the role of female police officers-from their entry into law enforcement as police matrons in 1845 until the present. Beginning with the derisive portrayal of policewomen by the public press in the early 1900's, the evolution of the policewoman's image is traced and the different duties assigned to her are examined. The various studies on attitudes toward policewomen are critically reviewed and evaluated. The pattern emerging is one where anti-policewomen orientations are persisting despite the demonstrated competence of female police officers. Although the general public may gradually be coming to accept policewomen as full-fledged officers, it is policemen as a group who seem most resistant to the new role of women in law enforcement.

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