The experiences of male nursing students in the Sexual and Reproductive Health clinical teaching: emotional competence and gender

  • Paula Diogo
  • Madalena Oliveira
  • Patrícia Baltar
  • Hugo Martins


Historical findings reveal that caring is associated with female experience. Traditionally, women were who assumes the role of caregiver, to whom is attributed greater sensitivity, availability to help others and greater predisposition in affective and emotional sphere. To men were meant other tasks such as hunting, work and war. This social division of labour allowed the maintenance of life (Collière, 2000). Moreover, the nursing history refers to the associated care of female labour, in the case of a profession in which health care is “instinctive”, which led to the current health care being provided by religious and still imminently feminine. However, the multiple changes in the roles of men and women in recent decades, in the public and private sphere, allowed both to coexist in the same space and to perform the same functions. Nowadays, men intervene in a series of activities and tasks, gaining a new role in the sphere of caring. But multiple gender stereotypes persist that condition individual and collective behavior, especially in the Sexual and Reproductive Health (Oliveira, 2016). So ensuring equal opportunities in this area of care implies creating similar opportunities for nursing students, female or male, and perceiving how male students emotionally deal with these gendered experiences, likely to influence their learning in clinical teaching in Sexual and Reproductive Health. Concomitantly, the emotional labour (Smith, 2012) is inherent to professional performance, which justifies the awareness of using those in the relationship with the clients, making it important to understand how nurses should seek and develop the human emotional experience as an instrument of care (Diogo, 2015). The revelation of these emotions highlights the importance of clinical supervision nurses as emotional support elements for students, in stressfully situations to enhance emotional competence (Diogo, Rodrigues, Sousa, Martins, & Fernandes, 2017).