Assuming the doctor's a 'he'

The New York Times, June 15, 2012

"More than half the students," the professor wrote, "assumed that you were a man—despite your name. When asked why, many said that your writerly voice was unmistakably masculine: logical, confident, secure, sometimes sarcastic...and, above all, that you are an M.D." A classic study of preschoolers in 1979 showed that even young children "knew" that doctors were men and nurses were female. Perceptions, however, do lag behind reality, as these freshman English students demonstrated. When polled by their professor, they overwhelmingly considered doctors to be male.


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