Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Boy Team/ Girl Team

I have got to think about something other than politics...

Global statement: It is better to have one sex predominate rather than have near-balance. But it is not good to have one sex exclusively for your cooperative group either.

My job is structured around a team approach. A dozen patients, all in crisis, and we meet for 90 minutes each day to review each of them daily. That's seven minutes each plus interruptions and one-liners, which isn't much if it's your crisis we're dealing with. But those 90 minutes set the course of the rest of my day. Concision and camaraderie are of enormous importance.

There are 5-8 players every day, plus student observers about half the time. Most are regular daily players, but because nursing and rehab works weekends, we have mix-and-match coverage people fairly regularly. I have done this for a long time, and have been on teams that are all or nearly all male, and teams that are nearly all female. When one sex predominates for any length of time I will kiddingly point it out. Boy Team. Girl Team.

The ideal is to have two of one sex and the rest of the other sex. Neither gender does well when it gets the whole culture to itself, and having one female among males or one male among females is usually not enough to change the prevailing culture. Even for a dominant personality like mine, outnumbered is outnumbered, and being on Intense Girl Team for too long gets wearing.

But an equal balance turns out to be worst of both worlds, and no fun at all.


Anonymous said...

Um, could you expand on that? And how is an Intense Girl team wearing.
I don't know if it's because I have a mild case of Asberger's or not, but I don't automatically know what you mean. This sounds fascinating though, and I would like to understand.
Are there implications for a marriage team of a husband and wife?
After you've had your seven minute consult, what do you do with the patient for the rest of the day?
And what does all that have to do with thinking about politics. Is everyone moaning about how Palin represents all that is evil about America? (a post I read elsewhere)

Donna B. said...

I think it has implications for marriage as when there is a complete disagreement on some issue, one or the other is going to have to give in or the marriage goes buh-bye.

I read recently about research into how financial stability affected equality of the sexes, and IIRC, "dire straits" resulted in the most equality.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, it might have marriage implications, but I'm not going there. Do I look suicidal?

A PhD psychologist - female - came close to the first use of the phrase "Girl Team" about half-a-dozen years ago. I was the only male. The psychiatrist, the psychologist, both nurses, the rehab therapist and the other social worker were all female. We had a guy from rehab who was covering one day, and she said "David will get some relief from his team of girls." (Do I need to point out that the "girls" were all quite adult, 25-55 years old?) The psychiatrist chipped in that I had been rolling my eyes over the last few months as the shopping, menstruation, male-bashing, and grooming comments had become the norm. That was an exaggeration, but not completely untrue. It had, in fact, gone over-the-top more than a few times, but these were people I liked who didn't mean any harm, and I wasn't going to embarrass everyone by calling them on it. It was a touch uncomfortable to hear them be that candid, but it's not strange when a group meets together for months to do difficult work under pressure. This was one of their primary social groupings - mine, too - and such confidences become natural.

When the shoe is on the other foot and only one female is present I have noticed a similar tendency for the group to move to more traditionally male topics and engage in rough banter. It's not like there's no overlaps between male topics and female topics, but there are differences.