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The Occurrence of Gender Bias in Law School

Topics: Gender, Female, Woman, Male / Pages: 5 (1102 words) / Published: Jan 15th, 2013
Taylor Seda
COM499
Reflection Paper 9
1/14/13
“THE OCCURRENCE OF GENDER BIAS IN LAW SCHOOL”
Chapter 14 focused on Women in the Legal Profession and the challenges and changes they faced. “The Occurrence of Gender Bias in Law School”, was the subsection that I had enjoyed the most while reading because I thought it was ironic to have gender biases in a setting which both genders had to achieve a certain educational standard to be accepted into the program.
From the start Matias explains that feelings of alienation and dissatisfaction with the law school experience affect a number of students. A series of studies were conducted that indicated many female students have experienced the latter treatment from the hands of their faculty along with their fellow male students. Even more interestingly enough another study had shown that 96 percent of third-year female students reported a variety of remarks and behavior by law professors that made the female students found to be demeaning and offensive.
Considering I have never been in a situation where I was first hand experiencing these gender biases I question where they come from. I have however experienced a gender bias in a completely different situation where I felt like the males in the situation were demeaning me. In high school there was a certain honors anatomy class and to get into this class you needed to pass a certain test and have had a certain grade point average to be allowed into the course. Although this is not law school this is a similar situation in terms of the feelings the females are dealing with in the law school setting from gender biases. My question here is why that even though these women are making their way into law school just as the males have why are they still at a level below the males?
“COMMUNICATIVE ISSUES”
Chapter fifteen, Communication in Health Care Settings, was a chapter full of valuable information. The section that I was most interested in was the Communicative Issues of how the patients gender affects communication with doctors. The four communicative issues that come from the fact that more women visit the doctors more frequently than men are, there is simply no language for “ill defined” conditions in the medical context, the fact that the patient speaking is female may also influence how the speaker is heard by the doctor, how females are allowed to be heard can also influence whether or not a woman is diagnosed with a psychosomatic illness, and finally the final communicative area focuses on the information flow the explanations women receive from their doctors.
Despite all of these issues women have when dealing with doctors studies have shown that female patients regularly receive more information than male patients. In this particular instance I can think of a perfect example for this was when my parents were still together. Whenever my father needed to go to the doctors, because my mother forced him to, my mom would always go along with him like she would with me and when I was younger I could remember being in the doctors’ office with both of my parents while the doctor examined my father. I can now see that my mother always accompanied my father to the doctors’ office because my mom would get more information out of the doctors’ office than my father would if he had gone alone. This is because of the way my mother would ask numerous questions that my father would never ask. She got this information about my fathers’ illness because she asked for it. In the end my father would get the information he needed because of my mother asking the types of questions that needed to be asked. My question for this section is why are these called communication issues if in the end they elicit positive outcomes.
“WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT”
Brownells’ chapter on gender and communication in the hospital industry interested me. Majoring in communication the subsection, “Women in Management”, caught my attention from the start. Brownell states that the growing topic of conversation is women who are leaving excellent corporate careers because they believe gender discrimination will prevent them from obtaining senior positions.
Being a communication major who is a female interested in Public Relations this is a topic that has worried me from start. Some researchers believe that women may be better suited than men to serve as a transformational leader in the twenty-first century. Also Brownell states that leadership in the decades ahead is likely to be characterized by a variety of social and technical skills, some traditionally male-linked and some female-linked.
After reading this information I myself thought that I agreed with this material. I especially thought that when Brownell said the decade ahead is likely to be characterized by a variety of social skills and technical skills but I did disagree when she had said that some of it would be traditionally male-linked. I feel as if in the decade ahead the management position will be characterized by women because the skills needed to be successful such as social and technical skills are skills that female possess greater than males. My only question is for this section is if women are resigning from corporate positions because of a glass ceiling how do they expect this to be broken for them to monopolize the management world in the future?
“FAMILY AND CAREER”
Chapter seventeen by Rock, Stainback, and Adams was a chapter on women in the news. The subcategory that caught my attention was “Family and Career.” This caught my attention from the start because being a female in the communication major this has been a concern of mine. The authors of this article stated that many women who are in the news prefer local news specifically because it does not require too much travel. Many situations involving travel with women limit them from having the best of both worlds their career which they worked so hard for and their family which they have also worked for. One of the females that were featured in the article said at age 37 that, “If I don’t have children now, I’m not sure I can do it later… But if I had kids earlier I’m not sure I could have established myself.” This quote makes me feel nervous as a young woman going into this profession. My question for this subsection is what is the best way to have a successful balance between career and family without limiting ones self by a glass ceiling?

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