ENG 101 5:00
22 March 2017
Nursing is a profession that is well dominated by women. The big question is: Why are male nurses the minority? “The results suggest that men entering a predominantly female profession may be perceived as more deviant than women entering a predominantly male profession.” (Hesselbart) After some research it is perceived that male nurses have it more rough than female nurses. There are several reasons why male nurses are a minority. These reasons involve stereotyping, questionable intentions, and feeling less masculine. Stereotyping is one of the main issues.
The first issue of why male nurses is a minority is stereotyping. In research and studies, it mostly came back down to stereotyping as one of the main reasons for the male minority in nurses. Patients, mainly female, find it hard to be comfortable with male nurses treating them and are more likely to want to be helped by a female nurse. Females are normally the face of nursing and are the ones who are more gentle and caring while males are more impatient and insensitive making it hard for patients or clients to want to be helped by male nurses. “Gender and sex role stereotyping are recognized as having the potential to limit the professional development of males within the nursing profession.” (Lou, Juinn-Horng; Yu, Hsing-Yi; Hsu, Hsiu-Yuen, Dai, Hung-da) With society stereotyping nursing as a female profession it makes it hard on male nurses to do their job effectively when they are looked down upon for choosing a female occupation. Males wanting to be in this profession are less likely to be praised than women wanting to be in a male profession. That’s where male nurses have it more rough than female. The stereotype that males should be doctors and not nurses definitely doesn’t help them in their careers. People say male nurses don’t become doctors because they didn’t want to go and finish medical school when really their reasons are because they rather be at the bedside bonding with patients. Also, that males usually take on the role of being in charge so people question why male nurses didn’t become doctors.
The second problem why there is a male minority in nursing is people questioning their intentions. “Men are now entering the nursing profession in record numbers and challenging the notion that men are inappropriate in caregiver roles or incapable of providing compassionate and sensitive care.” (PhD RN Evans) With society portraying men as aggressive and insensitive it makes it hard for the male nurses who are caring and sensitive to give the best care they can. Since nursing is stereotyped to be just for caring compassionate females most patients question or get uncomfortable with being treated by a male nurse. Male nurses tend to get negative reactions with patients from them having to be in their personal space. These reactions come mostly from delivery care because women don’t feel comfortable with male nurses to be helping and touching in the intimate care. They much rather have a woman do it because they tend to feel more comfortable around the same sex. Since males are also labeled as sexual aggressors and stereotypes sexualizing their touch it makes women patients more uncomfortable with being treated or helped by a male nurse. It all comes back to stereotypes making people, mainly women, question or get uncomfortable with why males become nurses. “In particular, focus is given to the fact that nurse educators have the tendency to isolate male nursing students both in educational and clinical setting.” (Stott) Nursing educators should be helping male nurses be more prepared and teach them how to respond to the negative feelings they receive from patients. By helping male nurses be prepared for the experiences they will face it may help them down the line in their careers.
The last issue for the male minority in nursing is that they feel less masculine. Some men feel less masculine going into a female profession. Nursing has been stereotyped to be more of a caring and submissive career whereas males are stereotyped more as dominant and aggressive therefore making males feel that going into a female’s line of work takes that away. Males’ normal occupations are more into construction, mechanics, and most labor jobs so for males going into a non-traditional line of work they are devalued and criticized of their masculinity. For most men their masculinity is very important so they stride away from a females’ occupation. “For the small number of men who defy prevailing gender norms by engaging in this work, the perception of a spoiled masculinity reflects the gendered and sexed relations within the profession.” (Evans, Joan; Frank, Blye) Since nursing is in the line of work to show more tender like emotions and being empathetic it requires them to put their masculinity pride aside to be in this occupation but men find it hard to stop showing their masculinity in fear of what others may say or think. A lot of men are afraid to show their sensitivity side because they are the ones who are supposed to be able to suppress emotional feelings and be the provider not necessarily the caregiver or nurturer.
Ultimately, the male nurse minority does have other issues. The main reasons that male nurses are the minority is stereotyping, questionable intentions, and feeling less masculine. Although, stereotyping is the biggest issue for male nurses all other factors are a main cause as well. Stereotyping needs to stop and men deserve just as much appraisal in going into a females’ line of work as a woman is going for or into a males’ line of work. Nowadays most professions are now a mix of both genders. Females have proven they can work in a male’s occupation and vice versa with males in a female’s occupation. Hopefully as males get more into the occupation, stereotypes will eventually fade and they will be able to feel comfortable and receive the support they deserve for going into a career they enjoy.