Critical social investigation- homophobia within the police force
This essay will look at the contemporary social issue of homophobia, specifically in relation to the police force. Firstly, I will look at some homophobic attitudes faced by homosexual people within the police force. The second part of this essay will look two explanations or theories that cause people to display negativity towards homosexuality.
Recently, a case of homophobic abuse was featured on BBC news. Lesbian police constable, Tracey West, faced months of taunting and bullying from her sergeant. He claimed gay officers were “poofs” and “freaks.” West was so traumatised by the six month ordeal that she resigned from Dumfries and Galloway constabulary and emigrated to Australia. During this period of bullying Sergeant Michael Service would refer to Pc West as “dyke” during conversations with other officers. West claimed the abuse was constant and became severely stressed. She joined the Gay Police Association and eventually made a complaint after six months of homophobic bullying. She won her sexual discrimination claim after an employment tribunal ruled she had been subjected to a relentless series of homophobic conduct (BBC news, April 4th 2011.) According to a report by the Gay Police Association complaints of homophobia rose by a quarter in 2008 compared to 2007. Chairman of the association, Paul Cahill, announced that there were situations where colleagues would come into work and openly state their religious opposition to homosexuality and quote from the bible. Many gay officers saw this as an attempt to intimidate or harass them. (Pink news 9th February 2008, homophobia within the police force soars.)
It is common for many people to think that a police officer is a job for men; this perception leads to the promotion of machismo amongst officers. If police officers do not fit the stereotype of a macho male it is possible that they will become isolated by their colleagues as they...