Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's with all the male nurses?

First, let me preface this by saying that my brother is a nurse, and I have no problems with male nurses--this is just a question I have--

I've seen an increasing amount of males become nurses. Which is great! My dad recently went to the hospital and there were three male nurses that were very helpful.

This is a stereotype that needs to be broken--the idea (that apparently I have) that nurses should be female. There is an assumption that because women tend to be more caring and nurturing that they make good nurses, and they do, but why can't men do the job just as well?

I guess what I'll inevitably arrive at is the question of, why are men taking over mostly female positions? Is it a need to show off? Or is it because more stereotypes are being overcome that men can finally do what they want to do?

Or, conversely, have they always been male positions and just recently have women infiltrated those occupations? Hmm...

One thing for sure, and this is my opinion--there are certain occupations that I just don't think women can do well. Construction--the hard physical labor, women are not built for it. On the other hand, men aren't meant to have children or do much of the child raising. I say, embrace the differences and get over this "everything you can do I can do better" attitude.

Only one criteria should govern what one should do for a living: do you love to do it? If yes, then do it! Don't worry about the social norms. Break them.


1 comment:

  1. "This is a stereotype that needs to be broken--the idea (that apparently I have) that nurses should be female."

    I don't know that this is really that bad, nor do I think it should be broken. I say that because I know you, and most people, are good and decent. You would never deny a capable person a job on the basis of their gender alone.

    For me the question is: why did this 'stereotype' come about and is it meant (I don't think 'stereotypes' a such really exist nor are they established with any 'intention' in the way I'm portraying, but this is for simplicity) as a protection or is it simply a theory describing the composition of professionals.

    Nonrandom associations are the rule, and one has to look for reasons for nonrandomness. Nursing in particular has many features women would like and I dare say non-obsolescence is the key component.

    It doesn't make sense to join a career where the field changes every 6 months (like chemistry, engineering, etc... hard core stuff) if you plan to leave the field, raise your child (as most women do), and then return in 3 years to find everything is different.

    What I'm saying is that nursing in particular offers very little obsculscence and that component in particular selects for female workforce, not because women are more caring or whatever (though that may also explain 0.1 % of it).

    So we have the chicken/egg paradox. Which established which? Did people (random patrons) merely observe the fact that more females work in this field and thereby create a notion that if you are a nurse your most likely female? (the incentives surrounding a field generated a probability >> stereotype) or did people (employers) think women are disproportionately caring and compassionate therefore they ought to work in fields requiring more of these qualities? (decision makers arbitrarily selecting genders for their qualities >> stereotype).

    As I argued above, the first proposition seems more likely as a large (very large) kind of coordination would have to take place to create a national stereotype of that kind. Of course more goes into this, but this is how one should, so I think, evaluate this situation.