• stress;
  • sex discrimination;
  • sexual harassment;
  • GHQ(28);
  • police;
  • gender differences


Adverse psychological and physical impacts have been related to experience of detriment arising from sex discrimination. In the present study detriment was operationalized in terms of differential career progress, unequal access to organizational benefits and experience of sexual harassment. A national UK sample of 1802 police women, 510 police men and 164 civilian women took part in the study. Results revealed gender differences in exposure to detriment and the suffering of associated adverse impacts. Subjective rating of impacts by police women revealed the greatest impact to be associated with frustrated career progression and the least from experience of sexual harassment. A multiple regression analysis suggested the reverse order when predicting elevated GHQ(28) scores for women officers. This is accounted for by cultural factors, which are also proposed to be influential in rates of reporting sources of discrimination.