Women and Men Police Officers

Status, Gender, and Personality

by Gwendolyn L. Gerber

Print Flyer
Abortion in the United States

May 2001


Pages 248
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/General

Challenging traditional beliefs about gender, Gerber develops a new model for understanding gender--the status model of gender stereotyping. She examines how expectations about status and gender impact police offers who work together as partners. Her study includes same-sex police partnerships as well as partnerships in which a woman works with a man.

Interviews with police officers highlight the findings from Gerber's large-scale study of police partnerships. She explores what underlies gender stereotyping--why men appear to have more assertive or instrumental personality traits and women appear to have more accommodating or expressive traits. According to Gerber's status model, instrumental traits are associated with high status, and expressive traits are associated with low status; therefore, men and women only appear to have different personality traits because men have higher status than women. The book provides a provocative analysis for scholars and researchers in gender studies, criminal justice, psychology, and sociology, as well as for those involved in the supervision and training of police.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Women and Men in Policing
The Status Model of Gender Stereotyping
Status Characteristics Theory and the Gender-Stereotyped Personality Traits
Description of the Study: The Sample of Police Partners and Measures
Status and Personality: The Dominating, Instrumental, and Expressive Traits
Coping with Low Status: The Verbal-Aggressive and Submissive Traits
Police Officers Who Violate Gender Norms: The Bipolar Traits
Self-Esteem: The Impact of Status and Personality Traits
The Patterning of Traits within Individual Personality
Status, Gender, and Personality: Towards an Integrated Theory
Implications for Policing



Gerber began this research with a desire to better understand the diffuculties faced by women police officers in being accepted as officers who are equally as competent as their male counterparts. Her findings need not be limited to women in uniform. Indeed, her research is applicable to women in all domains of woek, especially those women who are working in male-typed jobs. What began as an investigation with women and men officers and their supervisors in New York City's police department, eventually led to information that provides with a clearer understanding of how status-related expectations guide interactions, affect personality attributions at work, and ultimately perpetuate stereotypes about women and men.—Psychology of Women Quarterly

Other Titles of Interest

Cures by Psychotherapy cover imageWorlds of Common Sense cover imageMedical Discourse and Systemic Frames of Comprehension cover image
Attitude Formation and Change cover imageThe Praeger Handbook of Learning and the Brain cover imageModern Perspectives on B. F. Skinner and Contemporary Behaviorism cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips