On November 14, 2011 LiveScience.com reported a study that dispells the myths that nursing is a "women's profession." In fact, the researchers found that male nurses displayed more masculine traits than men working in other voactions.
Here is an excerpt from the article with a link to the full report at the bottom of this post.
Despite the old stereotype that nursing is a "women's profession ," male nurses display more typically masculine traits than men who work in other vocations, a new study suggests.
The results show male nursing students scored higher on tests to measure masculinity than college men studying other subjects.
"The nursing profession is attracting males who hold a high degree of masculinity," the researchers wrote in the November issue of the American Journal of Men's Health. "Efforts should be made to counteract the prevailing belief that male nurses are effeminate."
The idea that male nurses are more effeminate has existed for generations, and is re-enforced by popular culture, according to the study. The stereotype may discourage men from entering the profession, and cause anxiety and tension among those who choose to pursue it.
"This is unfortunate, since evidence suggests that the optimal effectiveness of health care requires both genders in equal numbers," the researchers from East Tennessee State University wrote.
Previous studies on the masculine and feminine attributes of nurses have had inconsistent results.
In the new study, the researchers surveyed 109 current nursing students (81 females and 21 males) from 37 states. In surveying students, the researchers aimed to make sure that any differences between the study participants were not due to prolonged work as a nurse.