Officer force versus suspect resistance: A gendered analysis of patrol officers in an urban police department

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This study examined patrol officer use of force and exposure to resistance on a gendered basis in an urban police department. Using data from use of force reports for the year 2000, a weighted force factor value was calculated for each officer. These values were then compared by officer gender. The mean value for both females and males was positive, indicating a tendency to employ lower force levels in response to higher levels of resistance. The male officer weighted force factor value, however, was significantly larger than that for the females. Placed within the context of the use of force continuum, this result suggested that male officer use of force vis-à-vis subject resistance spanned a wider range. Alternatively, female officers could be viewed as operating within a narrower range of the force continuum. One interpretation of this finding was that female and male officers responded differentially to subject resistance levels.

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Journal of Criminal Justice, v. 35, issue 2, p. 183-192