Male Nurses’ Experiences of Workplace Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in South Korea: A Qualitative Study

Elsevier, Asian Nursing Research, Volume 15, December 2021
Chang H.E., Jeong S.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore male nurses’ experiences of workplace gender discrimination and sexual harassment in South Korea. Methods: Phenomenological qualitative methodology exploring male nurses’ experiences was employed to collect data, and thematic analysis of the data was conducted. Research subjects were recruited by convenience and snowball sampling. Ten male nurses participated in individual in-depth interviews via mobile phone. Data were collected from June 15 to July 24, 2020. Findings: Two themes were extracted that described male nurses’ experiences of workplace gender discrimination and sexual harassment. In the first theme, “facing gender discrimination from various dimensions,” nurses’ thoughts and feelings regarding gender discrimination from various sources were expressed. The second theme, “experiencing sexual harassment at work as a man,” presented experiences of sexual harassment as a male nurse and difficulties in being recognized as a victim. Conclusion: Gender discrimination and sexual harassment experienced by male nurses stem from a wide range of socio-cultural factors, ranging from individuals to organizations, and institutions. Therefore, this problem requires a correspondingly broad approach for improvement, such as making efforts to avoid classifying certain roles according to gender, developing new standards considering the specific experiences of men as victims of sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, and continuing training to increase social sensitivity and interest in the harm suffered by minorities in society.