Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Abel Knochel


Social Work


The purpose of this research was to learn more about the past experiences of women correctional workers in Minnesota who have worked with male offenders and male co-workers between 1960 and 1989 and whether or not they experienced harassment and discrimination. It was predicted that women who were entering the male dominated field of corrections experienced a great deal of harassment at the hand of male colleagues. The experiences of early women correctional workers may be of interest to women who are considering those fields for their chosen professions. In order to better understand the current experiences of discrimination against women and the harassment they endure, it is important to understand how women experienced this in the past. This study applied the concept of sex role spillover in order to explore the experiences of discrimination and harassment of women correctional workers from male colleagues. Data was collected through research of primary documents from historical archives and analyzed using internal criticism and content analysis. Several themes were identified: workplace minority, refusal to hire, lack of advancement opportunities, unequal standards, exclusion from equal benefits, exclusion from same work, sense of belonging, direct abuse, and reprisal. The findings were consistent with information found within the literature in that common themes were found: no refusal to hire and direct abuse.

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