women confront different obstacles to desexualizing the physical exam patients. Male physicians and nurses are subject to assumptions that they control of their sexuality. The use of female chaperones during their exam female patients is based, in part, on this belief. Some men actually do f arousal, especially in their gynecological examinations of young, a women. Some men are also uncomfortable when they examine women t or when they witness female patients undressing. Having a personal rel with women is conflated with sexual meanings for some. Some endeavo manize their patient as a car to help them control their physical attracti In contrast, the women who were interviewed were less concerned ab trolling their own sexual desire and more concerned about controlling t desire of their male patients. Many of the female physicians and nurses in t reported that sexual harassment from patients was "a part of their job." themselves from sexual harassment, the female health care providers cha cialties, threatened their male patients, and dressed in ways to minimize th ninity and sexual attractiveness. It is interesting how stereotypes about male and female patients' beha voke different institutional responses. Some doctors (both men and wom male nurses fear that female patients will falsely accuse them of sexual they take measures to protect their reputations, including the institutio of female chaperones. On the other hand, some female health care provi doctors and nurses) fear that they will be sexually harassed or assaulted male patients. But chaperones typically are not used to prevent these because chaperones might "embarrass" the male patient. Consequently health care providers must devise personal solutions to this problem with tutionalized support. This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Tue, 05 Sep 2017 02:35:41 UTC All use subject to
480 GENDER & SOCIETY / June 2000 The professions of medicine and nursing, like many occupations, are pro gendered. Doctors are assumed to possess characteristics conventionall ated with masculinity (mastery, control, objectivity), while nurses are ex display putatively feminine characteristics (empathy, modesty). The differ ing they receive in professional schools bolsters these expectations, with p focused on "curing" the disease and nurses learning to "care" for the whole These gendered expectations are reflected in the strategies that men/d women/nurses use to desexualize the exam. Women/nurses manage the ship (empathize/protect privacy) between the provider and the patient, women's widely emphasized interactional and communication sk men/doctors do not stress managing the relationship; they just bring in an son (the chaperone) to control and to monitor the situation. Because fema and male nurses have to negotiate conflicting sets of gender expectations some strategies not common to their professional colleagues of the opp Thus, female doctors stress the importance of looking professional, an nurses sometimes call in chaperones.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 27 pages?
- Spring '08