Many people wrongly assume that
men don't care about their modesty. This is not true in many
cases. Societal norms say men are not supposed to be modest;
that this is a sign of weakness. Males are socialized from childhood
to “man up”, make believe it doesn’t bother
them, when faced with an embarrassing medical exam or procedure.
To acknowledge embarrassment only serves to amplify it.
Most men would not be comfortable with a strange woman watching
them use a urinal and they feel the same awkward discomfort
about female nurses seeing them naked. Many men are upset that
the medical community assumes that male patient modesty is not
important. Men who desire modesty in medical settings are often
mocked. Countless men value their modesty quite highly; many
are afraid to speak up.
Because of their limited numbers,
male nurses and technicians are often simply not available to
do intimate male procedures such as urinary catheterizations
and scrotal ultrasound. Also, getting an all-male surgical team—for
intimate male surgeries such as vasectomy, prostatectomy, hernia
repair, etc.—is difficult to schedule at many hospitals.
Scheduling an all-female surgery team for a female patient’s
procedure is more accessible because most hospitals employ a
limited number of male nurses working in gynecology.
In larger cities women generally
have the option of going to an all-female ob/gyn practice; whereas,
many urology clinics do not employ any male nurses or medical
assistants. About 75% of urology patients are male. In the United
States finding a male doctor is easy; finding an all-male staffed
urology clinic is very uncommon. Look at how many all-female
ob/gyn practies there are compared to all-male
Interestingly, articles written
about men not going to the doctor rarely mention modesty as
one of the reasons. Why is this? It seems partly because the
medical world does not openly discuss this issue and partly
that men are afraid to speak up about this sensitive topic.
Why doesn’t the medical world acknowledge this issue?
Perhaps their obligation to it is uncertain. Why don’t
men speak up? Because it seems he gets answers such as: “You
don’t have anything I haven’t seen”, “Don’t
be silly”, or “We’re all professionals here”,
deter male patients.
Given a choice for intimate procedures
most men would prefer a male nurse with less experience to an
experienced female nurse. Skills do not factor into this decision.
There was a time when male urinary catheterizations were routinely
done by physicians or orderlies. Now these procedures are regularly
done by nurses, and most often by females. The choice to request
a male nurse is rarely offered to male patients even when the
procedure is not urgent, male nurses are available, and the
patient is clearly embarrassed.
Some reasons men do not want their private parts to
be exposed to female medical personnel are:
1.) Some men choose for their future wife or
wife to be the only woman to see and handle his private parts.
Also, there are some wives who never want their husbands to
have female nurses present for intimate procedures.
2.) Religious / moral convictions.
3.) Privacy reasons.
4.) Previous abuse.
Male modesty is not a weakness. It is very
admirable for men to be modest. A lot of men prefer that their
wives bathe them if they are sick and in the hospital.
Oddly, men get their wishes
respected in locker rooms—that no women are present—
but these same wishes are disregarded in medical settings.
In many cardiology procedures
male patients do have an advantage over female patients. Males
can take their shirt off and not worry about exposing their
chest, females cannot. However, some men with gynecomastia are
embarrassed to be topless.
Please check out some
cases where men's modesty was violated. You may also want
to look a blog that a lady wrote about male patient modesty
Virginia: It’s a Prostate Exam".
Medical Patient Modesty wants
to help medical professionals and hospitals to be more sensitive
to male patient modesty, and to hire more male nurses. Many
medical professionals don't realize it is just as important
to respect male patient modesty as female patient modesty.
Male patients who desire modesty or male doctors/nurses in medical
settings should speak up for their wishes regardless of embarrassment.
Also, wives can help this issue by being bold as well, to ensure
that their husbands' wishes for modesty are met. We
encourage men to consider starting a petition in their local
community to ask the urology practice to hire male nurses and
assistants. You can use this sample
petition and modify it.
We also encourage men to print
the article, How
Urologists Can Be More Sensitive to Men's Modesty? and share
it with urologists.
Check out our online directory
of men's clinics with all male medical staff and tips for modest
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same-gender care increase the utilization of health care by
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YouTube Videos About
Male Patient Modesty Issues:
Modesty In Healthcare Setting by Argh IMO