Title

PERCEPTIONS OF BARRIERS AND PATROL CAREER INTEREST: COMPARING PERCEPTIONS OF FEMALE AND MALE STUDENTS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE COURSES

Publication Date

4-5-2019

Document Type

Poster

Degree Type

Graduate

Department

Criminal Justice Sciences

Mentor

Michael Rossler

Mentor Department

Criminal Justice Sciences

Abstract

The passing of the 1972 Civil Rights Act made using sex to exclude women in careers illegal, and police departments were pressured to recruit more females included in departments. Although recruitment efforts have been made by police departments to increase the number of female police officers, female officers still comprise only 12 percent of officers nationally. Research has highlighted several issues that are perceived by women as barriers to entering police careers (e.g., apprehension over entering the academy, disruption to family life, lack of mentoring and recruitment, and blocked upward mobility). While these challenges are frequently listed as barriers, little research has directly examined the impact that perceptions of these barriers have on interest in a police patrol career. Drawing upon a survey of over 640 undergraduate students enrolled in criminal justice courses across five universities, this research examined the perceptions of barriers to entering a police patrol career and the differences of these perceptions between female and male students. Additionally, this study examines whether these perceptions significantly relate to gender and interest in a policing career. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.

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