Male Speech Therapists and Family and Marriage Counsellors in France Today through Gendered Lenses : The Professional Benefits of a Blessed Minority.

Friday, 3 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW1.2.04 (Tower One)
Helene Bretin, Universite Paris 13 Laboratoire IRIS, Bobigny, France
Claudine Philippe, Laboratoire IRIS, Paris, France
Male speech therapists and marriage and family counsellors are few in number in France and rather well adjusted to their atypical situation. Unlike a minority of women in male bastions, the men encountered in our two surveys benefit from a privilege of gender linked to the fact of being men. Rare, they are warmly welcomed and perceived as bearers of an unexpected mixity. The situation may come at a certain cost, linked to the weak level of recognition of marriage and family counsellors or, more generally, a questioning of the sexual orientation of men installed in very feminized professions. Nonetheless, in a minority situation, that very masculinity remains a practical and symbolic advantage, nourishing their professional legitimacy. The male gender remains an asset that may be mobilized or not, depending on the context of involvement (union responsibilities, professional specialization, widening the field of intervention). The functioning of this non-egalitarian mechanism is sometimes described with a criti­cal distance taking on the part of the beneficiaries interviewed