DISHONORING WOMEN DOCTORS

June 25, 2017

Language is important.  In this article studies were done and found that female doctors are often introduced by their first names while male doctors receive the title they have both earned of “Dr.”

The question this raises is whether in the church we also introduce our female pastors as “Pastor” or only use their first name.    The result of such continual referencing is noted in the article as dishonoring.  For the entire article click here.

The article reads in part:

“As sociologists, we know language is very powerful; it both reflects larger social meanings and patterns and can directly contribute to them, in many cases perpetuating social inequality,” said Allison, who studies gender equality.

“The words we use can shape how people feel about themselves and others, how they interact and how they make decisions about the distribution of rights and resources,” she said….

“Women don’t tend to be thought of as leaders. They’re thought of as worker bees and the people who work well together,” said Templeton, immediate past president of the American Medical Women’s Association. “Talking to us is no different than talking to their wives or daughters at home. They just assume, somehow, that they don’t warrant the same respect as the men do,” she said….

Anupam Jena, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said male introducers could be using first names because they felt that “the work done by female colleagues is somehow different than the work done by male colleagues.”

“Subconsciously they are not equating the stature of female speakers to be the same as male speakers,” he said.

Jena said the introductions might have only a small direct effect on female physicians, but “the general attitude within medicine that drives these differences is probably what’s most important.” (Jena has studied how sex differences affect faculty rank in medical schools and the effect of sex and race on physician incomes. In both areas, the differences were disadvantageous to female doctors.)…

The study, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, looked at videos of 321 speaker introductions at 124 internal medicine grand rounds from 2012 through 2014 at Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona and Minnesota. The results showed that male introducers used professional titles for female doctors only 49 percent of the time on first reference, but introduced male doctors by their titles 72 percent of the time.

Female introducers used titles in introductions of both male and female doctors more often than male introducers (96 percent of the time vs. 66 percent of the time).

Hayes, a professor of medicine and cardiovascular diseases, said the form of address wouldn’t matter if it were the same for both genders.

“It’s the inequity and the context,” Hayes said. “I don’t mind being called ‘Sharonne’ — it’s my name! — but if all the men are being called ‘Doctor Jones’ and all the women by only their first names, that’s offensive.”

“While I have to assume it’s inadvertent, the effect is to put me in my place as ‘less than,’ ” she said….

For the entire article click here.

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