Why are there no male listeners on this platform? Are there less male psychologists/psychiatrists in general?

05 Jul
SAKSHI BAJAJ

This is something that has been bugging me since the last few days. I have not come across even one male listener on this platform. Why is there such dearth of men when it comes to talking about mental health? And considering that the founder of this portal is a man, the current scenario is shocking to say the least. Also, most of the psychologists and psychotherapists in the founding years of psychology were men, including the likes of Sigmund Freud, Carl jung, Wilhelm Wundt, and many more. Also, i have seen more male shrinks/therapists than female in movies or tv series, so what are the staistics in real life?  Is it because the society has conditioned our men in a way that they refrain from discussing and talking about mental health? Any opinions or views would be enlightening. 

Responses 4

  • Anjali Khurana
    Anjali Khurana   Jul 22, 2017 04:36 PM

    people perceive psychology as a soft science and immediately connect it with women since we are seen as the softer, more silent sex by society. because of this belief, many young boys are discouraged from choosing the subject and are instead pushed towards other courses that align with the stereotypical images of men. furthermore, the minority of the population left that has an interest in the field are offered lesser opportunities as well. for example, in a major public university like the University Of Delhi, only 3-4 co-educational colleges offer the course to boys. this limits not only the availability of the course but also their choices and future prospects in the field by a great margin, often forcing them to choose a different field. many colleges do not even have any male professors of psychology. 

    it is high time a collective initiative was taken by people at all levels to change this. parents need to start encouraging their children to look at the subject with an open mind and tarnish the stereotype surrounding the course as well as the ideas of 'suitability of a particular sex for a particular course'. equal opportunities should also be provided to all individuals in the field. 

  • Heena Sheth
    Heena Sheth   Jul 20, 2017 10:17 PM

    The point raised by you irks me as well and thanks for bringing up this question. I'm pursuing my course in all girls' college. The point being that there are just a handful of co-ed colleges under my university that offer psychology to girls and boys. Apart from this, the quality of faculty also varies. The well-read and "good" professors teach at the colleges which have a good rank at the university level. Surprisingly, most of the professors who teach psychology at the college level (where I study) are female professors.

    Interestingly, among the most famous psychologists, the number of the men who have made their name is this field surpass the number of women. But now I see that the number of women involved in this profession is more than men.

    The primary reason behind this could be the societal norms. Since time immemorial there ahs always been a certain amount of stigma in society to talk about mental well-being. You have correctly pointed out that men in the society have been conditioned to refrain from indulging in conversations about mental health. This is so because the beliefs of the society and the gender roles are so strongly deep rooted that even in this era of the 21st century we have not still striving to make everyone realize that it's ok if a boy cries, there's nothing "women-like" about a boy who cries.

    Traditionally, men were encouraged and were ought to do tasks which required more skill, energy and effort, whereas the women was regarded as the care-giver of the family. Our society has unconsciously and indirectly taught men not to be "emotional" and "sensitive", and that these traits are used to describe women. Consequently, the women are more understanding and better suited as they have the power to empathize more than men.

    Our society is still largely a male-domonated one, even though we see powerful instances of this disequilibrium changing. Hence, when the character of the therapist is being portrayed by a male actor, it  is a powerful way of making the society sensitive about mental health issues, since even the men to some extent are made aware about the importance of indulging in discussions about it. 


  • Manaswini Venkateswaran
    Manaswini Venkateswaran   Jul 05, 2017 03:30 PM

    One possible reason for this could be gender stereotypes and the feminization of labor. In other words, men are expected to take up "breadwinning" technical jobs such as engineering, medicine, managerial positions, etc. Women are expected to take up jobs requiring more soft skills such as teaching and nursing.

    Gender roles are so deeply ingrained in us that we still believe that some jobs are "for men" and some jobs are "for women". Sometimes, even men who are interested in psychology or the humanities are forced to take up a job in an established field such as engineering as society puts on them the pressure of being stable enough to support a family in the future. 

    Another possible cause for not enough men in the field of psychology is that perhaps men themselves see it as unappealing as they've been raised in a way that makes talking about feelings or anything that makes them seem vulnerable, unappealing or distasteful somehow. They might see it as "a job for pansies", that's how insecure a lot of them are in their masculinity. 

    The only way to change these imbalances is a change in the way children are brought up. An upbringing free of gender biases and stereotypes would definitely help in making a few changes. 

     

  • Reshma Venugopal
    Reshma Venugopal   Jul 05, 2017 11:57 AM

    Hey Sakshi,

    I totally feel your concern, because I myself have been concerned about it. In my psychology class, there is only 6 out of 37 guys. The majority of us are women, and for a lot of the guys, this was just their third or fourth choice. Most of them either changed their streams from business related subjects. At the same time, my university also has engineering courses and you'll be surprised to see that majority of the students are male rather than women. 

    I think somehow it all goes back to sexism and gender bias. People still go on with the notion that some work is better suited for women and vice e Versa. I even took the liberty to ask some guys in my university as to why men don't really take humanity subjects. And you won't believe that half of them simply said "Lol psychology is so easy. That's the life man"; "Oh you do psychology? You must have so much free time in your hands". And my favorite one is; "Oh so, can you read my mind right now? Does this mean you will be sitting in a chair and making notes when people tell you their problems?" 

    At the end of my discussions, I felt so annoyed that people actually think that taking psychology or any humanity subject is completely useless. I think for this, I would blame the media for portraying mental health as a very trivial matter. Sure things are catching up, but it is at a very slow rate. It is a mentality that needs to be changed among men and women alike. And I think it should be a change that households need to take up. Educate your children on this, and more importantly, let your kids do what they want and stop teaching them that business, engineering, and other related courses are the only beneficial courses in the world.  

    Hope this helps :)

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