The masculinity of men in nursing
Here I am revisiting yet another stereotype: the opinion that men in nursing are less “manly” than other men.
For some strange reason, some people feel that because I work in a predominantly female field, my “man card” was revoked.
Side note: I often wonder if this urban legend stems from the “male nurses are gay” stereotype.
So, back to my “man card.”
It seems that a new study, as mentioned in “Putting the stereotypes to bed: Study finds male nurses are MORE masculine than other men,” is out to debunk this humorous urban legend.
In this small study, researchers surveyed 109 current nursing students from 37 states. The subjects rated male nursing students as displaying more “manly” characteristics than male college students in majors other than nursing. This was a very limited study, but nonetheless is interesting to note.
Drawing from my own experiences as a nurse, I honestly can’t say my “masculinity” ever has been questioned. And no, after I passed my boards the masculinity police did not confiscate my “man card.” I didn’t become a nurse because I thought it was more or less manly than other professions; I made a conscious decision to impact lives. This urban legend, like all the others, is just a great conversation piece.
The take home message is this: To all the men out there who are considering this profession or are entering it, be prepared. The individuals that question your masculinity or believe in any of these other urban legends do not know us. And those that know us, know the difference.
Any of my fellow “masculine” nurses out there care to share your thoughts?
P.S. Be sure to read this with a thick dose of sarcasm.