It’s no secret that the nursing field is heavily biased towards women, but what percentage of those women are lesbians? Searching for an answer to that question is like searching for a needle in a haystack – you’re probably not going to find it. Of course, employers aren’t allowed to discriminate against prospective employees based on sexual preference or gender identity, so this isn’t a stat that is formally tracked in any industry. However, there’s enough data out there to draw few deductions related to the presence of LGBT nurses within the nursing profession.
If You Are Looking for Statistics, There are None
While studying for a masters in nursing online at The University of Arizona, I learned that employers can’t legally require an applicant to specify their sexual orientation on a job application. Still, it seems it would be legal for a third party to issue a survey to nurses asking them this simple question. With enough input, such a survey could provide a rough insight that indicates what percentage of nurses are lesbians. Until such a survey is conducted, we’ll have to assume that lesbians make up a small minority of nurses – probably no more than 3% at the max.
Social Stigmas and Homophobia in the Field
Aside from discrimination and equality concerns within the nursing profession, another reason why lesbians and gays are not often mentioned in the profession is because it has historically been a very heterosexual career path. Society has become accustomed to seeing men as doctors and women as nurses, and along with that stigma there seems to be an urge to shy away from the discussion of LGBT altogether.
There are Probably More Lesbian Nurses than Gay Male Nurses
Again, while there haven’t been any notable surveys or studies conducted on the matter just yet, we can logically deduce that since about 90% of nurses are women, there are most likely more lesbians than gay males in the nursing profession. It’s also safe to say that we probably won’t be seeing any type of official survey on the matter due to the aforementioned inhibiting factors. Now, the percentage of male nurses in the U.S. who are gay would probably be less than 0.5% since only 1.8% of the male population identities as gay, and only 10% of nurses are men.
Coming to a Conclusion
In reality, if we had to give an expert estimate on the amount of nurses in the U.S. who consider they are strictly lesbian, it would probably be closer to 1%. On the other hand, the percentage of women nurses who identify as bisexual tendencies or who have had bisexual experiences is probably much higher, but many bisexual women publicly identify as heterosexual for fear of being stigmatized. Does all of this mean that lesbians shouldn’t pursue a career path in nursing? Absolutely not – if anything, it means that just the opposite should be done for the sake of advancing equality.