Throughout history, the English police system has had a significant impact on American law enforcement. Citizens in Colonial America were in charge of law enforcement in their neighborhoods while it was still in its infancy. An essential societal shift has occurred with the inclusion of women in law enforcement roles. Women had a hard time finding work in law enforcement a century ago. Only a few women were employed as correctional officials, and their duties were often confined to the background. This document discusses why and how the American policing institution remains male-dominated, entering women into law enforcement, their roles in law enforcement, and the challenges they undergo while enforcing these laws.
In the world of law enforcement, men have traditionally held the majority of positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that just 12.6% of police officers were female in America in 2012. There is also a low proportion of female candidates and workers in several law enforcement organizations. Traditional male characteristics like force, aggression, dominance, violence, and strength are a part of masculinity inside its hegemonic form (Brown et al., 2020, p. 143-173). These traits are “achieved through a play of social pressures that extends beyond competition for brute power into the organization, cultural process and private life, and.” It’s no secret that policing has traditionally been seen as a macho profession that values and celebrates masculine characteristics. Silvestre believes that the workplace culture of law enforcement is dominated by machismo and the worship of masculinity. Law enforcement is almost exclusively associated with male performance because of how prevalent masculinity is in the profession. Because women make up a small percentage of police officers worldwide, the domain is skewed toward males. Many feminist academics believe that male domination has its roots in the patriarchal social system that places men above women, assigns them inferior positions, and sets expectations for men and women in terms of roles and professions. Institutions controlled by men are more likely to be places where structural violence occurs, and coercive control is strengthened. It’s a hegemonic tactic to keep male authority and domination in the police by emphasizing ‘manliness’ as the ideal characteristic for police officers (Carlson, J., 2020). Negative gender stereotyping is exacerbated in police departments because of the dominant macho culture.
In part, they are raising awareness for the distinctive and essential professional characteristics women frequently offer to law enforcement fuels the positive trend toward establishing an equal public safety force. Law enforcement agencies have a more significant effect on the community they serve if they possess these characteristics. Recruiting additional women for professions in criminal justice has been shown to have two crucial advantages: “Women police are less prone to use unnecessary force or draw their firearm (Solomon et al., 2020). Women are respondents in lawsuits less frequently compared to males, tradable cities and towns legal millions costs. When the use of force is being scrutinized more than ever, this is critical since it frequently increases tensions between officers and the people they serve. When it comes to tackling discrimination against women and sex crimes, women in police departments can significantly impact them. For Montoya Jennifer, an illegitimate detective with the defense division who is now pursuing her M.S. in Police Control at the San Diego University “it is essential to have women who work in criminal law.” “For example, a victim of sexual assault may want to speak with a female witness. However, this isn’t always possible due to a lack of female officers, which harms the mission’s success (Charman, S., 2019). We’re dealing with real people here. We must be able to respond compassionately in the face of sexual assault. According to the Washington Post, research has indicated that feminine police officers are less autocratic in directing and less dependent on better communication and physical force than their male counterparts. Most significantly, female cops are superior at diffusing hypothetically violent situations once they become fatal.
Police administrations seem to have failed to properly handle the continuing problems of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexual assault of female officers by male officers. Even when a lawsuit is settled or a judgment is reached, the culture that encourages sexual harassment seldom changes. Additionally, the offender typically suffers no repercussions as a result of their actions. Rather than informing and correcting, the end effect is a liability tornado that destroys. Collectively, people minimize the damaging behavior and dismiss it as a single occurrence. However, the truth is that such behavior often indicates broader issues throughout the police force as a whole (Taylor et al., 2020). There are various types of sexual harassment, and if an agency has a bad reputation for it, it may create difficulties in recruiting. The researcher conducted a study in 2007 of female law enforcement personnel in the Texas Panhandle’s 23 counties and 48 localities. After the data was collected, in-person interviews were performed. The survey’s primary goal was to identify answers to the problems that local law enforcement organizations problems when recruiting women.
When it comes to preventing violence and defusing potentially violent situations, female police outperform their male colleagues. When it comes to deviant behavior, women are less likely than males to participate in it. Both men and women have the same degree of respect and positive views about police officers when they are engaged in an incident. Women are rising to prominence and becoming a significant influence in the world. Women in enforcement agencies bring various skills and perspectives to the table, including dealing with conflict in new ways. Even while women may lack the physical power of males, they make excellent employees because of their courage, inventiveness, and linguistic abilities (Schunk, A. M., 2018). A lot may be learned from female police officers by male cops. Since becoming a competent police officer has nothing to do with physical stature, some women have started teaching self-defense at police academies.
All agencies know that they need to recruit a diverse staff, but diversity efforts emphasize race than gender in the hiring process. As a result, almost half the population has been barred from a profession that might make a significant and beneficial difference. Women make up a tiny minority in law enforcement. This is although, according to Wexler Chuck, chief administrative of the Law Enforcement and judicial Research Conference, who voiced the News Agency that “they convey their range of abilities to a stereotypically masculine philosophy, which is very obliging,” women have “a reflective effect on the idea of policing (Cambareri et al. 2018).” According to Wexler, “divisions which have had a lot of practice contracting women identify how priceless they are in disseminating argumentative situations,” citing a study that shows women are capable communicators who can aid diffuse hypothetically unpredictable situations. This practice is progressively being highlighted in many sheriffs and police departments.
As a result, even if recent legal developments and military advancement should encourage women, the questions they raise remain. A PAT that includes verification, execution, and evaluation procedures are present at how many of the country’s 664 state and municipal police academies. Only a tiny percentage of the nation’s 664 law enforcement organizations and police academies prepare candidates and recruits of both genders to pass the polygraph assessment test.
Brown, T. C., Baldwin, J. M., Dierenfeldt, R., & McCain, S. (2020). Playing the game: A qualitative exploration of the female experience in a hypermasculine policing environment.
Cambareri, J. F., & Kuhns, J. B. (2018). Perceptions and perceived challenges associated with a hypothetical career in law enforcement: Differences among male and female college students. Police Quarterly, 21(3), 335-357.
Carlson, J. (2020). Police warriors and police guardians: race, masculinity, and the construction of gun violence. Social problems, 67(3), 399-417.
Charman, S. (2019). Making sense of policing identities: The ‘deserving and the ‘undeserving policing accounts of victimization. Policing and society.
Clinkinbeard, S. S., Solomon, S. J., & Rief, R. M. (2020). Who dreams of badges? Gendered self-concept and policing career aspirations. Feminist Criminology, 15(5), 567-592.
Police Quarterly, 23(2), 143-173.
Schuck, A. M. (2018). Women in policing and the response to rape: Representative bureaucracy and organizational change. Feminist Criminology, 13(3), 237-259.
Taylor, B. G., Maitra, P., Mumford, E., & Liu, W. (2020). Sexual harassment of law enforcement officers: findings from a nationally representative survey. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260520978180.