Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why are there so many women?

Most of the speech and language therapists are female, and most people who stutter are male. The differences are most apparent in Western Europe, especially the UK. The reasons for the high proportion of female therapists in Europe is of course not sexual discrimination against men, though this fallacious argument applies for all areas where men are in a higher proportion! More women than men are interested and naturally inclined to working with children with speech and language development (and with adults to a lesser degree), though the interest and ability argument of course does not apply for any area where men are in a higher proportion!

The situation is somewhat more balanced in the US. They also call themselves speech and language pathologists, and I believe that they have a more science-based education and not just based on administrating treatments. There is also a markable difference between Western and Eastern European countries, with the Eastern European countries being more science oriented. I see it at conference all the time: they usually don't run away when I talk science or stats! There is still some respect for physicists. :-)

And the proportion of males increases with seniority and focus on research as opposed to treatment.

The European hotbed of femaleness in treatment must surely be the Michael Palin Center in London where I have yet to meet a male therapist; it's just pure estrogen. :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Two male Speech and Language Therapists to my knowledge have worked at the Michael Palin Centre over the past 10 years, Rob Spence (now a manager in a London PCT) and Peter Conlin.