LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ ATTITUDES AND INTERACTIONS TOWARD FEMALE PROSTITUTES AND PROSTITUTION
Mentzer, Heather N
Master of Arts
Date of Defense:
November 10, 2010
Jennifer Sumner, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor Jennifer Sumner, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
perceptions law enforcement Prostitution
Prostitution has been around for centuries. Attitudes toward prostitution have evolved during this time, reflecting beliefs regarding morality as well as legalization. Attitudes of police officers toward prostitutes and prostitution have changed as well. At times interactions between the police officer and the prostitute are positive while others are more negative. The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of officers toward prostitution, what is associated with these attitudes, and the relationship between these attitudes and the interactions police officers have with prostitutes. A purposive and convenient sample design was utilized to collect survey data from a sample of 158 officers from ten different agencies in Pennsylvania. The survey yielded responses in regards to officer characteristics, department characteristics, attitudes toward women, attitudes toward prostitutes, and interactions of police and prostitutes. Bivariate analyses were used to test relationships between key variables. Findings indicate that attitudes toward women are associated with attitudes toward prostitution to some extent and these attitudes are subsequently associated with interactions officers have when coming in contact with prostitutes. Finally, study limitations, suggestions for future research, and policy implications are discussed.