Justice Studies (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Adam Bossler


Throughout the course of history, various perceptions of gender and the roles that each gender should play have been observed. As Western society has progressed, so have the rights of women in many modern, developed nations. In America, women became an integral part of the workforce during World War II. When the war was over, however, they were expected to return to a more domestic role. Today, the number of women in the workplace continues to increase; however, many disparities continue to exist. Traditionally masculine careers, such as policing, have seen smaller increases in the number of women in these careers compared with other occupations. This study seeks to examine the sociological aspects contributing to less favorable views of women in policing among college undergraduates.

This study surveyed 172 college undergraduates at Georgia Southern University to examine perceptions of women as law enforcement officers in various scenarios. The findings from this research suggest that students with an increased sense of equality of the genders were more likely to prefer female officers in certain scenarios. Feminism and views regarding women in policing were examined in order to gain insight into why students preferred one gender to another. General opinions of police were also measured in order to determine whether negative views overall influenced responses. Gender, race, and level of education completed at Georgia Southern were also evaluated as potential influences on responses.