Comparison of Masculine and Feminine Traits in a National Sample of Male and Female Nursing Students

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The stereotype that male nurses are less masculine has existed for generations and spans all age groups. Several studies have investigated masculinity and femininity in nurses using the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, but the results are conflicting and inconclusive. Therefore, a nationwide survey was conducted across the United States that examined the sex-role identity of individuals who chose nursing as a career path. Twenty-eight males and 81 females from 37 states completed the survey. The males and females in the study both had higher mean scores on masculinity and femininity scales when compared with previous studies. The greatest percentage of participants were classified as androgynous, as opposed to masculine, feminine, or undifferentiated, with half of the males and nearly half of the females falling into this category. © The Author(s) 2011.