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'Gay' stereotype deters men from nursing

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The stereotype that male nurses are predominantly homosexuals continues to deter men from entering the profession, as a study has claimed.

According to the research, based on a literature study and interviews with 18 men from New Zealand, urged nurse educators not to collude with the stereotype as it is marginalising men within the profession.

All participants stated that the majority of men in nursing are gay. One student nurse interviewed said he faced comments that ‘you must be gay if you want to be a nurse’.

Another male nurse, Allan, said he was forced to hide his sexuality because of negative perceptions.

Authors noted: ‘By choosing a workplace role that is considered unmanly, they become associated with effiminateness and homosexuality.

‘The continuing stigma associated with homosexuality may deter the entry of more men into nursing.’

Journal of Advanced Nursing (2007) 60: 636-644

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