Dentists Open to Gender Profiling in Dental School Admissions

Many Say It Might Be Acceptable to Favor Male Applicants

Dental Survey Results

Drum roll please! I recently asked you if certain factors might make it legitimate for dental schools to favor male applicants – and fully 42% of you said yes! Some see it as discrimination, whereas others think it would help preserve access to care.

You can also check out Jim Du Molin’s editorial examining some of the facts about gender and dentistry.

Female Dentists Support Female Dental StudentsMale versus Female Dental Practitioners

Ah, gender…

Just as you might expect, men and women were split on this question.

It’s not terribly surprising that a dentist’s gender played a significant role in a his or her opinion on this subject.

The majority of male dentists (55%) feel it would be acceptable to profile applicants based on gender.

Only one in nine female dentists (12%) agrees.

The City Mouse Disagrees with the Country MouseUrban, suburban and rural dentists

Geographic location also played a major role.

While suburban dentists were split down the middle, urban dentists showed a preference for gender-blind admissions, and rural dentists in this survey approve of screening applicants for gender.

Dentists have no shortage of opinions on this highly charged topic…

For more insight, check out these comments!

  • “Dentistry should be embarrassed by this continued pattern of stupidity.” (Male New Mexico dentist)
  • “Since when do statistics about future work patterns determine admissions to any higher educational institutions in this country? Should unemployed college graduates not have been accepted at all because they are not working members of our society?” (Female South Carolina dentist)
  • “Women who want to be dentists should not be penalized.” (Female New York pediatric dentist)
  • “What a bunch of crap. It is surely more about the money for the dental schools; as in, how much they will get back in donations.” (Male Oregon dentist)
  • “If female dentists want to be home with their children and not practice at least 30 hours/week for at least four years, they should have to pay back to the state the amount it cost to train them.” (Female Alabama dentist)
  • “I am so tired of seeing female dentists who don’t want to work. Stop taking a spot in dental school. You have an obligation to the profession. If you only want to work part-time, be a hygienist!” (Female Ohio dental office worker)
  • “A dental shortage does exist in the US, and males who can afford to work more hours per week are a significant solution to that problem.” (Male Florida dentist)
  • “As a female dentist, I still have to deal with gender bias when it comes to associate job interviews. I am still asked to this day if I am married and do I have kids at an interview! It’s bad enough that we still have to deal with this from the ‘good old boys club.’ We don’t need it in our schools too.” (Female Florida dentist)

Read the complete
gender and dental school
survey results…

Do Women Have to Choose Between Kids and a Dental Career?

Why Some People Think Dental Schools Should Favor Male Applicants

This week I’m releasing the results of my highly controversial gender and dental school survey. I’m not taking an editorial stance on the topic, but I wanted to explore why (according to some people) a dental school might favor male applicants over female.

The primary argument is one of access to care. Evidence indicates that women with young children work fewer hours than their male colleagues. Women who attend dental school, then stop practicing once they have children, received the harshest criticism. Many would argue that her spot in dental school should have instead gone to someone who would provide more dental care to more people.

Dental school is expensive, but a dental education costs even more than the price of tuition. This is especially true at state-run schools, where much of a student’s education is provided at the public’s expense. “In light of the high taxpayer cost to train dentists and the impending shortage of dentists; if female dentists want to be home with their children and not practice at least 30 hours/week for at least four years, they should have to pay back to the state the amount it cost to train them,” opined a female dentist.

Moreover, female students are outpacing their male classmates. With more female applicants than male, many schools that want to maintain an even gender balance have had to raise the bar for female prospects while they lower it for males. Schools that practice gender-blind admissions are finding their ratio of female to male students highly skewed — more than two to one at some schools! Overall, women today make up 58% of US college students. (Read the New York Times article for more info.)

But there’s one more issue at play here, and I think it’s a lot more important than most people realize. Research has consistently shown that male alumni donate more. For this reason, dental schools will quite literally make larger profits from male graduates than female. It might not be an ideal decision-making criterion, but you can never underestimate the importance of the financial bottom line.

The most comprehensive analysis of alumni donations to graduate schools was published in 1996 by The American Journal of Economics and Sociology. The study found that a fundraiser’s best target is a man with an advanced degree from the institution. There is no magic formula, but certain factors seem to correlate with an alum’s giving. The following factors affect both the likelihood and size of a graduate’s donations:

  • Gender: Men typically donate more than women. It is not clear if this is simply because men tend to earn more, or if there are other factors at play.
  • Degree type: The most money comes from a graduate’s first doctoral degree, not the undergraduate education or any additional professional degrees.
  • Age: Alumni with graduate degrees do not typically donate much money early in their careers. However, as they accumulate more wealthy later in life, they are increasingly likely to send some back to their alma mater.
  • School ties: Having other family members who have attended the same institution (particularly a spouse) raises a graduate’s giving, as does participating in alumni events.
  • Income: Though schools rarely have direct income data on individual graduates, those with degrees in higher-paying fields tend to donate more money.
  • Business and tax cycles have been shown to influence giving.

This is a bit of a “chicken or the egg” conundrum: Given that schools have tended to target their fund-raising efforts to male alumni, is it any surprise that women donate less? There are significant financial and emotional difference between men and women when it comes to donating. (Check out an old New York Times article on the subject.)

To find out more about what today’s dentists think of gender profiling, check out our complete gender and dentistry survey results. And don’t hesitate to post your own comments below!

Dental School Admissions: Male vs Female Applicants (video)

Many dentists would approve of gender profiling at dental schools – that is, of favoring male dental student applicants under the theory that will, statistically, more work total hours over the course of their careers. But the slight majority oppose giving preference based on gender.

“Live with it, people,” declared a male orthodontist. “Discrimination in any form is un-American.”

“I’m a little surprised that this topic has come into the open view, but it is undeniable,” offered another dentist. “The profession is losing manpower hours at a time when there’s a call to serve more people.”

Read more – Gender and Dental School Admissions: Dentist Survey Results

Dental Schools and Gender Profiling (VIDEO)

Dentists are split over the issue of gender profiling in dental school admissions. In this survey, the slight majority opposed gender discrimination.

However, many dentists felt that favoring male applicants could increase access to dental care.

Read more: When It Comes to Dental School Admissions, It’s Mars vs. Venus

Gender, Dentistry, and Dental School

Male Dentists and Female Dentists Fight a Battle of the Sexes

Have you missed any of The Wealthy Dentist’s coverage of gender issues in dentistry and dental school?

Complete Survey Results: Dental School and Gender Profiling
Get the data and read dentists’ comments

Editorial: The Secret Role of Alumni Donations
Jim Du Molin thinks it comes down to the financial bottom line for dental schools

Dentist Comments: Mars and Venus Go to Dental School
Seriously folks, we couldn’t make this stuff up

More Dentist Comments: Is There a Difference Between Male and Female Dentists?
Opinions from all across the spectrum!

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