Rebalancing gender imbalances

By | July 8, 2008

Much panic about the reluctance of female GP’s to work full time which is a big problem since 70% of graduating GPs are now women.

The IT adds another problem in its editorial today:

“But if so few female GPs are willing to engage in full-time general practice, then the quality of primary healthcare for patients could suffer. Can doctors who operate on a part-time basis provide an acceptable service to patients, particularly those who suffer from chronic illness and want continuity of care from the same doctor, rather than from a variety of part-time GPs?

In medicine, if the old gender imbalance has been reversed, a new one has been created with, potentially, some adverse consequences for patient healthcare. Another rebalancing may well be needed.

In teaching, an old imbalance of the sexes has been further compounded. At primary level, the ratio of female to male teachers in the 1960s was 2:1, but it has widened greatly since then. Today, four times as many women as men teach in primary schools. The decline of male teachers has deprived boys of a much needed adult role model. The training of teachers and doctors is financed largely by taxpayers to help meet national needs. Perhaps it is time for a review of how well these needs are being met by the present arrangements.”

You know, I hate all these stories about how feminism has really caused so much trouble. How many times do men complain that they would take more paternity leave if only it were paid, and they want to spend more time with their families, but can’t due to work commitments? Women do cut back on their hours at work for the sake of their families – all the time – as the GP study shows. Men could do the same thing too but don’t. Now what? All the reports of the study are gently dancing around and NOT saying what they clearly mean “aagh, stop women becoming doctors! make more men do it! make men become teachers! control control control”.

Don’t try to control the gender of who becomes a doctor – just produce more doctors. Then there’ll be enough to go around. The only reason the points are so high for medicine is that the numbers are so strictly controlled. Open up the system a bit and that will solve the problem.

We have an “on-call” system in Meath and Kildare ( I presume its elsewhere too) where the GPs form a co-operative and take turns being on-call. I’ve used it at weekends and three quarters of the time its a female GP (which roughly fits their representation in the field). It would be nice to see the same doctor each time, but I don’t think male doctors would sign up to that any more than women would. The days of the 24hour 7 day on-call local GP are long gone – and that’s nothing to do with women – just different expectations that GPs have of their own lifestyles. Our local practice is 50-50 male-female and they work the same hours.
And if men don’t want to be primary schools teachers there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. You can try and advertise and encourage, but if they think the job is beneath them, then what?

There were no gender quotas (and rightly so) to get women into medicine and teaching. Don’t even think about quotas to keep them out.

Also in the “feminism gone mad” theme, ONE psychologist, Mary O’Connor claims that young men (19-22) are being FORCED!!! to carry Viagra so they can “perform” to the expectations of “demanding” young women who want casual sex after a night on the town. Apparently their confidence is shot. Gee, now WHERE would women get the idea that casual and wild sexual encounters are a good idea?? Would women not know anything about poor sexual self- confidence caused by high expectations and pressure to put out? And does the Viagra have less to do with the supposed demands of these outrageous women and more to do with the effects of alcohol and cocaine? Give me a break.

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