Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. William Strong

Second Advisor

Dr. Nikkie Hodgson

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Lemanski


Despite a lack of female law enforcement representation in police departments across the country and especially in the Border Patrol, there have been minimal studies performed that focus on the obstacles women face in these professions. The purpose of this study was to attempt to understand the lived experiences of female law enforcement officers/border patrol agents in this male-dominated profession, but also adding the aspect of them working in a Hispanic-dominated culture.

The findings revealed these women in law enforcement working in a Hispanic area face many of the same obstacles as women in other parts of the country - including sexual harassment, perceptions of women in this male-dominated field and family obligations. While not all obstacles mentioned could be linked with the Hispanic culture, there were certainly connections related to Machismo and how women are treated by the public and fellow officers in this culture.

While women continue to integrate into various law enforcement agencies, the percentage of women in this field is relatively stagnant and has been for many years. These findings could be used to educate current and future law enforcement leaders as to the obstacles women face with hopes to make changes to the way women are viewed in the law enforcement profession and in a Machismo culture.


Copyright 2019 Lisa M. Seiser. All Rights Reserved.