Conformity to Traditional Gender Norms in a Feminized Occupation: The Influence on Health Behaviors


The object of this study is to examine the relationships between conformity to traditional gender norms and health in a special group of the Spanish population, male/female nurses. Nursing is a particularly good example of feminized occupation. Spanish male (n = 98) and female (n = 98) nurses matched in diverse sociodemographic variables complete measures of gender norms and health behavior variables. Measures of conformity to gender norms in female and male nurses are compared with those of the general population. The analysis of the inter-gender relationships and health highlights a clearly masculine pattern for men and a clearly feminine one for women. A detailed analysis of the scores in each of the scales reveals a pattern of illness in male nurses that is still masculine despite their lower conformity, as a group, to masculine norms, and a clearly feminine illness pattern in female nurses. The consideration of gender from a multidimensional perspective (the different factors that make up Masculinity and Femininity, as assessed in this work) has allowed us to study the relations between gender norms and health in more detail. Limitations and implications are discussed.

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Sánchez-López, M.P., Saavedra, A.l., Dresch, V. and Limiñana-Gras, R.M.(2014) Conformity to Traditional Gender Norms in a Feminized Occupation: The Influence on Health Behaviors. Health, 6, 2775-2789. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.620317.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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