The Dog Zombie has an interesting post discussing women in vet med–and why there are so many. She notes that her school is only 12% male, versus more of an even distribution in med schools, and the recent discussion of gender imbalance in science blogging. This is interesting to me, as my personal vet is male, as are almost all of the vets we collaborate with for our research. Of course, the gender distribution of veterinarians in academia may well be more gender-balanced (or even male-skewed) than those currently in vet school or recently graduated.
DZ posits some possible reasons for this divide:
-Vet med is often seen as a caretaking profession, something that may appeal strongly to more women than men.
-Why vet med and not human med? One difference is that vet med pays a lot less. Are women more tolerant of low pay than men?
I found a few articles on the gender differences; both suggest those factors as well as others. The 2003 Canadian article muses that veterinary medicine may become more like nursing–female-dominated and potentially lower-paying in the future. Both cite some statistics, but nothing that appears as thorough as some of the AAAS women-in-science type of studies. Does the AVMA have a committee on women’s issues, or pay much attention to these reasons?