When I did the page on sexual stress and the male police officer, I had no intention of addressing the same subject regarding female police officers. I
learned a long time ago to keep my analysis of women's behavior, sexual or otherwise, to myself whenever possible. However, fair is fair, and I should
make an effort to provide advice to women seriously considering a police career since all things sexual have become of such interest, and a real source of
When I began my police career, police commanders didn't want to know anything about your domestic life, and they especially didn't want to hear
anything about sexual issues. When some things change, they change in a big way. Today, the subject of sex is everywhere, and police departments
can't escape a reality that sometimes reaches absurd proportions.
As a female police officer, you'll be entering a work force where, on average, you'll be outnumbered 9 to 1. While some women might find the lopsided
ratio appealing, others won't. It really doesn't matter which view you take, because you'll be subjected to sexual stress either way. The only difference
will be in how and why that stress originates.
As long as you begin your career with the realization that you have no immunity from being subjected to sources of sexual stress, you'll be way ahead at
protecting yourself from needless suffering. You might think that all the sexual harassment laws will protect you from sexual stress. Think again,
because most male police officers don't even think about sexual harassment issues; until, they're slammed in the face with an allegation of sexual
harassment. Further, when sexual stress is placed into the context of sexual harassment, it simply results in additional stress.
You'll fall into one of two categories of female police officers. In the first category are those women who become police officers, because they really
want to do police work. The second category will be comprised of women who know men's weaknesses, and they will not hesitate in exploiting those
weaknesses. Since you're obviously in the first category, listen closely.
Police departments aren't any different from any other male dominated work environment. Just as in any other line of work, you'll see women exploit
their sexuality from flirting -- to much more -- for favors and advancement. Those sexually based professional relationships often result in stress for
everyone in the immediate work environment. When those relationships sour, or become scandalous, the negative effects only multiply along with the
number of people affected.
While men could have much more positive control in limiting sexual favoritism, that just simply isn't the reality. You might work for a sergeant --
hopefully -- who won't tolerate any type, or even an appearance, of sexual favoritism while your higher ranking unit or district commander has never
met a woman who couldn't manipulate him ten different ways.
You will see women receive favorable treatment and advancement through their sexual manipulation of men. However, think about the stress they're
suffering from the knowledge that everybody knows how they're obtaining the favors and advancement. Women who use sexual manipulation will often
justify their behavior through cynical self-delusion. They'll convince themselves that they are qualified for better assignments and advancement, but,
just because they're women, they'll be denied their deserved assignments and advancement. Therefore, sexual manipulation is just something they have
You don't have to believe me, because you'll learn for yourself that women who rely on their sexuality are rarely, if ever, qualified for assignments and
advancement derived through sexual relationships.
While those women will be subjected to the obvious stress generated from the tenuous nature of such relationships, their behavior will be a source of
stress for their female co-workers as well.
The experts will tell you that you're entering a career rife with sexism. Well...that just isn't so. It's easy to substitute sexism for the normal ways
things have been done and continue to be done. You've got to remember that you're entering government where the concepts of quality and competence
are not immediately associated. You can be a police officer, male or female, of exceptional quality and competence, and you'll learn that those attributes
won't, on their own, get you anywhere when it comes to assignments and advancement.
In government, the politics and personal connections are the determining factors. Here's where being female obviously becomes tricky. How do you
make those personal and political connections in a male dominated environment without sex entering into the picture? It's obviously possible since a lot
of women manage to advance without becoming practitioners of sexual manipulation.
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Police work does have unique aspects to sexual stress. You'll be dealing regularly with a male criminal element that has no appreciation for women.
When a woman puts on a police uniform, that lack of appreciation can become even more pronounced. You could frequently find yourself enduring
sexist comments and language that will initially cause you stress. You'll simply have to train yourself to tune out the insults. If you don't, the resulting
stress will be of your own making.
Then there's the normal thing between men and women that often occurs in the workplace. Yes...the work environment often creates legitimate
romantic relationships. Here's the only advice I can give you on this one. If you're working together in an assignment where you're performing actual
police work like responding to calls and doing other dangerous things, request that one of you be transferred to another assignment.
In police work, controlling your emotional responses to anything is a big deal. Where intimate relationships are involved, danger to one will evoke a
strong emotional response from the other. When a police officer's action(s) is controlled more by emotion than training, the result(s) can be
When you begin your career, you're going to be just as inexperienced as your male counterparts. You're going to need advice and guidance just like the
new guys. Unlike the boys, however, you may well find more willingness from the experienced cops to help you. I wonder why? Anyway...never feel
uncomfortable about putting anyone in his place if he's making you feel uncomfortable.