There is a useful and interesting study from Queensland, Australia: The police role: studies of male and female police (1996). This is research from nearly 20 years ago. Here are a few choice quotes:
- Many observers believe that men and women bring to policing differences in attitude, values and perceptions that influence the way they do their work...
- Taken together, these studies reveal that few differences between males and females, predicted on the basis of sex role stereotypes actually exist between men and women in the Queensland Police Service
- Differences between males and females that did emerge are more likely to reflect pressures existing within the male dominated culture of policing. This is particularly so, for example, in the case of communication between suoeriors and subordinates where the superior officer is female, in the erosion of authority held by superior female officers and in the way in which superior female abilities, such as the ability to respond to and identify the emotional content of messages sent by others can be eroded by role demands.
- The entrenched machismo culture of policing has been identified time and again as instrumental in maintaining attitudes which are cynical, sexist, racist and corrupt.
- On current projections, any prospect of numerical gender equity appears to have been lost, with the overall proportion of sworn female ofﬁcers likely to plateau around 30%, at best, in many departments over the next decade.
- Research shows that police supervisors have a key discretionary role in supporting or undermining ﬂexible employment options. However, there are also indications that many women police who take up the option of maternity leave often elect not to return to work
- Despite a strong case for much greater female participation in policing, basic data on women’s progress are often lacking, and there is an apparent large gap in many departments between positive gender policies and less-than-optimal integration strategies.
- Despite this relatively gloomy picture, available data indicate enormous improvements in the status of women police in numerous departments in the past few decades.