Taking the ‘care’ out of care work?: Men in nursing

20 Feb

Great post by Tristan Bridges in the Gender & Society blog! Visit the original post at: http://gendersociety.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/taking-the-care-out-of-care-work/

Gender & Society

Nurses and doctors have different kinds of work – but there’s a lot of overlap.  Yet, we still culturally associate the “doctoring” with masculinity and the “nursing” with femininity.  The distinction between “caring” and “curing” is a gendered one and it is part of what maintains existing occupational segregation in healthcare.  Indeed, research on occupational gender segregation finds that it persists less because we simply believe men are better than women (stronger, more competent, capable of more complex thinking, etc.) and more because of our beliefs that women and men simply have different natural interests and aptitudes.  This is why male nurses are the butt of so many jokes in our culture.  “Male nurse” sounds like an oxymoron (like “jumbo shrimp,” a “just war,” or my personal favorite, “graduate student”).  So, recruiting more men into nursing or more women into astrophysics is difficult work because it challenges a strong cultural…

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