Some college psychology programs cannot even attract male applicants, much less students. And at many therapists’ conferences, attendees with salt-and-pepper beards wander the hallways as lonely as peaceniks at a gun fair.Hmmm. I'd like to see more about those studies. We're supposed to believe that the emerging problem is that men who need help won't seek it because they have a prejudiced preference for a male therapist. We're not supposed to think that when the profession is thoroughly dominated by females, it will change in all sorts of subtle ways, conceiving the female norm as the norm. That's funny. When the field was male-dominated, feminists (and others) critiqued it as imposing the male norm on females. But it's always the females who are wronged. First, the female patients were oppressed by male therapists who enforced patriarchy, and now, the female therapists are oppressed by the male patients who discriminate against female psychologists.
The result, many therapists argue, is that the profession is at risk of losing its appeal for a large group of sufferers — most of them men — who would like to receive therapy but prefer to start with a male therapist....
The impact of this gender switch on the value of therapy is negligible, studies suggest. A good therapist is a good therapist, male or female, and a mediocre one is a mediocre one. Shared experience may even be a impediment, in some cases: therapists often caution students against assuming that they have special insight into person’s problems just because they have something in common.
May 22, 2011
As the NYT presents the problem: