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Forensic science and gendered organizations: an exploratory study of crime scene examiners

Marshall, H, Julian, R ORCID: 0000-0003-0634-2055 and Howes, LM ORCID: 0000-0002-5656-6121 2021 , 'Forensic science and gendered organizations: an exploratory study of crime scene examiners' , Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences , doi: 10.1080/00450618.2021.1937315.

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Abstract

Crime scene examination is uniquely positioned at the nexus of policing and forensic science. Although women are under-represented in policing organizations and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, they are reportedly well-represented in certain forensic disciplines. As a forensic discipline located within policing organizations, crime scene examination offers an interesting case study for an exploration of gender in the organizational context. In this exploratory study, in-depth interviews were undertaken with five male and four female crime scene examiners (CSEs) from two Australian policing organizations. Participants provided insights on various aspects of their work. Gender differences were evident in nuanced ways in some of these aspects. Female CSEs reported the importance of rank in circumventing differential treatment by colleagues outside the crime scene team. The uptake of part-time and flexible work arrangements differed in ways that reflect broader social trends, with negative impacts on careers borne by women with caring responsibilities. The findings highlight the gendered nature of organizations. Although some important steps have been made, gender equity is yet to be achieved. The article contributes to understanding the complexity of CSEs’ role and the impacts of gendered organizations. It identifies areas in need of further research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Marshall, H and Julian, R and Howes, LM
Keywords: policing, crime scene examiners, gender, forensic science
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0045-0618
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/00450618.2021.1937315
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences

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