When women enter such traditionally male fields as firefighting they may expect to find some negative attitudes from their male co-workers. This study presents the hypothesis that attitudes toward female firefighters will become more positive the longer they have been a member of a platoon. A subject sample of 857 men and 30 women was drawn from 13 fire departments throughout the east coast. Subjects completed a questionnaire including Spence's Attitude Toward Women Scale and 55 questions measuring attitudes toward female firefighters and their impressions of their work unit. The major results indicated that general attitudes toward women became less traditional over time, whereas beliefs became more harsh concerning preferential treatment for women. Comparisons also were made on the basis of gender and rank. Results were discussed in comparison to military academy and police studies, and implications were drawn regarding performance problems associated with female firefighters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology