Women in Blue: Predictors That Buffer Female Police Officers From Perceived Gender Discrimination by Men in Blue

James Eric Sutton, The Ohio State University

Although women have served as sworn police officers since the 1970s, research indicates that they continue to face resistance from male colleagues. Previous research on women in policingm gowever, has produced inconclusive results on whether certain predictors significantly affect perceived gender discrimination. In addition, prior studies of women in policing have typically been qualitative, and much of the previous research is now old. To address the limitations of previous research, this study employs quantitative data collected between 1997 and 1999 from sworn members of the Baltimore City Police Department to test whether certain predictors buffer female officers from perceived discrimination. Findings indicate that demographic characteristics and adhering to masculine policing norms do not buffer female officers from perceiving gender discrimination. However, women in blue who are committed to their jobs are significantly less likely to perceive gender discrimination from men in blue.

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Updated 05/20/2006