Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Do Americans Prefer Male Attorneys?

The ABA Journal reported on a survey where the majority of respondents "still prefer men for some powerful professions, including lawyers."

The survey consisted of 2,047 respondents chosen from a group of people 18 and older who agreed to participate in the survey. The survey wasn't random, so the results cannot be generalized, but the results still show certain societal preferences.

"Sixty-five percent of survey respondents agreed that more women should be in positions of power, and 71 percent said they would be comfortable working or interacting with women lawyers. However, when asked to choose which gender they preferred working or interacting with if forced to make a choice, 53 percent preferred male over female lawyers."

It's not surprising that some Americans still gravitate toward traditional gender roles. That inherent socialization is hard to break, but 53 percent is only slightly better than a coin flip, which means that many people don't necessarily prefer male attorneys over female attorneys. It would be interesting to compare these numbers to numbers from the 80's or earlier.

"Another interesting survey finding: Older Americans were more comfortable with women in traditionally male professions. As other research has shown, stereotypes can be broken down through real-life experiences with women in traditionally male occupations."

At least we are moving in the right direction.

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