Would Sgt. Crowley have arrested Dr. Gates if he’d been alone? The reason I ask is a longstanding observation that when in the presence of each other, men tend to behave far differently than when they’re by themselves, or in the presence of women. My favorite illustration is a study in which drivers were observed as they attempted to execute a tricky left turn against heavy traffic to enter a shopping mall. The longest average time recorded for making this turn, 17 seconds, was recorded for men driving alone. The next longest time, 12 seconds, was observed among lone women drivers. By far the fastest turns of all were made by men who were accompanied by other men. They averaged only seven seconds to make this risky turn.
Think about it.
In another study, when high school and college students were paid by the minute to sing “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,” male subjects were far faster to quit when facing an audience of men than one of women.
Which returns me to my original question. If Sgt. Crowley hadn’t had to consider how he’d look in the eyes of fellow (male) police officers, would he have been so quick to slap the cuffs on the loudly protesting Dr. Gates?