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Jon Panamaroff

2003 Research

Abstract: A Correlation of Empathy and Androgyny within Business Education

Mentor: Dr. Mahlon Dalley, Psychology


2002 Research

Abstract: Gender-Role Identity in the Doctor-Patient Relationship
Mentor: Dr. Mahlon Dalley, Psychology 

 Gender-role identity (GRI), an individual's unique mixture of masculinity and femininity, is an important personality construct for understanding interpersonal interactions. In the healthcare setting, GRI may be fundamental to understanding the doctor-patient relationship. For example, patients who desire some level of nurturance (a stereotypically feminine trait) from their physicians may be dissatisfied by physicians whose major traits are decisiveness and assertiveness (stereotypically masculine traits). This dissatisfaction may be expressed as conflict, anger, non-compliance, or even malpractice lawsuits. Ideally, a physician should be able to display the mixture of masculinity and femininity appropriate to the situation and the individual patient; that is, the ideal physician should be androgynous. Evidence suggests, however, that patients generally regard physicians as being masculine: high in masculinity and low in femininity. One could ask whether this is a self-selection effect (masculine people are differentially attracted to medicine) and/or a result of training in the medical culture. To address the first part of this question, the present study administered the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, a measure of GRI, to 244 undergraduate students with a wide variety of academic majors and anticipated occupations. Results showed that, relative to students planning careers in mental health, pre-medical students were very significantly higher in masculinity (4.6 vs. 5.2, respectively), (p=0.002). Pre-medical students were lower in femininity (5.2 vs. 4.9), with this difference showing a trend toward significance with (p=0.096). We conclude that these results point to a strong self-selection effect. Implications include that the doctor-patient relationship would benefit from greater balance in the personalities of physicians and that practitioners of behavioral medicine are likely to be become more androgynous than physicians, and should be aware of this difference during interactions with patients and physicians.



University of MD 2004 McNair Conference & Graduate Fair 03/18-21/2004

8th Annual Research & CW Symposium, EWU, May 18, 20

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