The robot-proof job men aren’t taking

The robot-proof job men aren’t taking

Nursing is the job of the future. So why have men stayed away?

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It’s easy to imagine that the jobs of the future, if they even exist, will all revolve around technology. But it turns out, the jobs that are least likely to succumb to automation are those that involve building human relationships. The healthcare field is a prime example— nurses, physician assistants, and physical therapists have higher-than-average salaries and major expected job growth. These fields share something else in common— they’re dominated by women. Despite the erosion of traditionally “masculine” fields like manufacturing, men just aren’t taking these high-paying, in-demand healthcare jobs in the numbers you’d expect. For decades, nursing in particular has been considered “women’s work,” in part because it’s assumed that women, more so than men, have a kind of innate capacity for caring and empathy. But men in nursing say this mindset is holding us back. For them, caring and empathy are stills that can be developed, not traits someone is worth with or without based on their gender.

Oxford University study on which jobs are most vulnerable to automation:

Men in Nursing, History, Challenges, and Opportunities (book by Chad O’Lynn):

Florence Nightingale and the Nursing Legacy (book by Monica Baly):

Marci Cottingham’s studies on gender and healthcare work:
How Health Care Organizations Mobilize Masculinities as Nursing Recruitment Strategy:

Caring Moments and Their Men: Masculine Emotion Practice in Nursing:

Gender and emotion : social psychological perspectives / edited by Agneta H. Fischer: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

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97 Responses

  1. FableCountry says:

    Except have you seen Big Hero Six? Baymax is best nurse.

  2. Bland Potatoes says:

    me me big boy

  3. Generation Z says:

    Ya know why men don’t choose nursing. It’s because women are naturally better at it. And women also choose the job to study at college that’s the easiest compared to men who study more difficult classes. Men are more prone to bit making a relationship with the patient and instead just want to help them. That’s the problem and men don’t want to do this job

  4. Divine Hazard says:

    Maybe it’s because it’s a female lead job? Because women are made for nursing, they do nurse a baby for 9months+. It’s like how you see more men in engineering roles or science roles and you see more female teachers and caregivers, there are gender roles in society, whether you like it or not, subconsciously, we all conform to our gender normal career, because it fits what subconsciously what we want to do.

    P.S. I just wrote that in a hurry, I didn’t even watch the video, so don’t attack my comment yet.

    P.S. I am done, I watched the video

    Also, I want to add the fact that, men and women are difference, physiologically, and chemically, (obviously this isn’t true for all men/women but it is for the majority of it, when I say that) that physical and chemical difference, also leads them into different career, and lifestyle, choices.

    • Vanilla Overdose says:

      I’m a biology student.

    • MC_Master says:


      Now imagine an entire society that doesn’t actually read the whole discussion to realise that the issue has been addressed scientifically before inserting their opinion
      Scary, right?

    • MC_Master says:

      +Vanilla Overdose

      I thought oxytocin is the stuff that gets generated when you have physical touch? like a hug and such?
      Wouldn’t highlighting the difference between testosterone and estrogen make more sense?
      I’m not a biology expert so feel free to correct me

    • Vanilla Overdose says:

      The stereotypes and jokes come from the sustaining difference between genders, it’s a consequence of our difference between our gender, not a cause of gender differences. This should be changed but it would be stupid to just assume these jokes and stereotypes from the media is sufficient to cause such a gap. Even so, they are a consequence from our biology, not the cause.

  5. hmm yes interesting says:

    let the men handle the hearts, we’re good at it

    • Maroon Kennedy says:

      Condiment King I grew up in the Bible Belt so maybe it is different for me

    • Revived L. says:

      Ah, so men should become more feminine. How surprising, (((Vox))).

    • moriartywalksfree says:

      Men who are nurses and boys who wants to be nurses complain and they are totally entitled to complain because there is a social stigma around this that shouldn’t exist. Sexism and gender stereotypes hurt both men and women.

  6. Peter Parker says:

    nursing isnt robot proof…..this is gender propaganda

  7. Our Founding Liars says:

    Ah, but the robot militia is sending these people to the hospital to get nurses in the first place. Keep asking questions. Investigate the robots. Idk what I’m talking about

  8. Joshua Powell says:

    Change the title to “medic” and it would be a lot more popular

  9. Nkanyiso Innocent Khwane says:

    That was interesting, we should have more Male Nurses in pop culture. *The last one I remember was Brandon Routh* (from Superman Returns) *As a male nurse in a show called Partners*

  10. Salokin says:

    So do men, who are the minority in the field, experience discrimination and if so, how and why?

    • IIStaffyII says:

      I had a teacher who in his earlier years worked as a nurse he said. The discrimination eventually got so bad the work force froze him out and he resigned. I felt really bad when he told the class this. He was a genuine caring mentor and teacher.

    • Alena S. says:

      K1LLRBEAST I mean you are right that “if” is a bit of an obvious question, but they are asking about experiences male nurses have, so maybe don’t discourage somebody from learning something new…

    • joe oliva says:

      I experience reverse discrimination? Staff love when I’m around just because I’m male…

    • Ducky McDuckface says:

      C JACKSON wow way to make this into a race issue and not even with a good argument

    • Ian Morris says:

      Only in Labor & Delivery or from the patients themselves being uncomfortable have I seen discrimination against male nurses. I’m an RN and I forget all about this issue until someone else brings it up.

  11. my opinions are facts says:

    Being secure enough in your masculinity to take a well paying, robot proof job is great and more people should aspire to that.

  12. Anthony Marquez says:

    I am a man and currently a nursing student I graduate next year

  13. Salokin says:

    Reactionaries: “Reeeeeee!”

  14. Tristan Neal says:

    Seeing a lot of biological determinism in the comments. Did these commenters completely miss the part of the video about the long history of men showing empathy and compassion in nursing roles long before women? And the part about the cultural conditioning society had to undergo to convert it to a male job? But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Men who confidently exhibit traits of love and nurturing are always threatening to those insecure about their own masculinity.

    • umiluv says:

      It just shows how the fight for equality for men is woefully behind. Too much has been focused on allowing women to be like men (what we think is equal to men) and not enough to allow men to be equal to women.

      Somehow, during the feminist fight, we’ve forgotten that feminine stereotypes are still not allowed for men. But to be fair, many men reject it entirely. They don’t think it matters that men aren’t allowed to be nurturing or emotional or even allowed to wear skirts/dresses or bright colors and patterns. They refuse to consider that a social issue.

      I’ve found that men judge men the harshest and refuse to allow men to have “weaknesses”. It’s really sad how archaic this view is yet gets perpetuated by their own gender against each other.

      It also doesn’t help that women have also rejected feminine stereotypes to strive for “equality”. In essence, our society has determined certain qualities of humanity that were normalized for women as being “weak” and unnecessary for societal progress. Both genders have embraced being tough and stoic as the norm for both genders instead of understanding that a balance is needed.

    • Simone says:

      Yea there is a lot of cultural influence here.
      Here in Sweden we have like a 1/3 ratio of men to women instead of 1/10. Not ideal but it it illustrates a point.

    • The Unity of Knowledge says:

      Simone how is it not “ideal”? Isn’t the ideal to have everyone employed in a job they’d be most happy with? Is 50/50 in every profession the only ideal we can imagine?

    • deadeaded says:

      @KEine Ahnung That’s almost what I’m trying to say. But it’s more like “There is variation in the population but on average woman *may* be better at nursing, so there *might be* a higher percentage of woman good at it. If this is the case, we would still expect that a certain percentage of men would be good enough at nursing to cover the role in history (as monks etc), so the fact that men previously occupied the field doesn’t imply the absence of a biological predisposition. It’s possible that women are slightly predisposed to be good nurses, and that this biological bias, in combination with social and historical pressures, accounts for the differences we see today.”

      Why does this matter? Because if there is a biological bias, then we shouldn’t be striving for 50/50 representation. Instead, we should be focused on removing stigma and discrimination so that anyone with an interest in nursing (or any other field, for that matter), feels free to pursue it. Maybe this will result in a 50/50 split, but maybe it won’t. And, in the end, we might discover that the optimal split that makes everyone happy is closer to, for example, 60/40.

    • Minda Carpenter says:

      I think a lot of the commenters did not watch the whole video. Considering how many of them keep bringing up objections that where directly addressed in the video.

  15. Triggered says:

    Men aren’t taking these jobs because they’re not attracted to them.
    I’d much rather be a mechanic.

  16. Jimbo says:

    Now this is the only job that I know where female really dominate in and we men say nothing about it because we don’t care. I don’t hear any men marching down the streets holding signs demanding equality in nursing jobs lol

    • thumbnail says:

      +Worst Commenter On Youtube For a woman to become an engineer, all they have to do is go to university. The reason there are less female engineers is because they don’t apply for the courses, not because of the “toxic workplace” they work in after they get a degree. It’s a problem that is caused firstly by the stigma attached to female engineers, especially by other women, and because women are less likely to be forced into a utilitarian degree because our society accepts stay at home mums, but not dads.

    • Amelia Brittain says:

      Because, like you just stated, this is the only job where women dominate…..if there is only one….that’s a problem…there should me more…

    • Sorenkair says:

      do you see men marching down streets for anything? We’re told and expected to suck up all misfortune and inequality.

    • Libertarian_Dumb says:

      >using feminazis unironically

    • Not Crazy says:

      Jimbo You really are a world class snowflake, aren’t you? Males are “locked” out of this particular job because they see it and the males working in it beneath them.

      There’s a difference between few Xs because the Xs don’t want to be there and few Xs because the Xs are not allowed to be there.

      This video is about the former. It basically says males are stupid for creating a stereotype that keeps themselves out of an in-demand, good-paying job.

  17. Jay Kay says:

    Morgan in The Mindy Project?

  18. BTS Videos says:

    Nursing is one of the most noble jobs you can do 💪

  19. Braxx says:

    Lol they said truck driving is gonna be a growing job.

    • Freedom Rajee says:

      GrimR34per did you hear about the Tesla semi? (I don’t remember the exact specifics) but I think it has a range of 600 miles and will probably come with their autopilot software so that future isn’t very far away, I’d say at MOST 5 years until it’s released. It was shown to the public a couple weeks ago

    • Philip Rapp says:

      GrimR34per Both things were introduced bei tesla already. You think inserting a charging Plug into a car is harder to automate than driving? Also who cares about 300 miles of range if there is no Need for a human driver? A truck charging 4h a day drives a lot more than a human sleeping 8h a day

    • Freedom Rajee says:

      GrimR34per ok just checked again and it’s 500 miles range but it should come our in 2-3 years

    • GrimR34per says:

      Freedom Rajee i know i was really pumped about the tesla semi but alot of people forget the bigger the battery the longer the charge, full auto semi’s wont be on the road for 30+ years.

    • Keigan Lobin says:

      Freedom Rajee a little optimistic with your prediction there. It takes a long time for automation to actually take over a field. Part of that is adaptation of the technology and another is simply the cost. Yes, in the long term automation is more cost effective but initial costs are huge, whereas you can hire some rando with a CDL-A, throw him in a gas guzzling semi and it would be much much cheaper on the books initially.

  20. Vox says:

    Thanks for watching, and for the robust debate in the comments. I wanted to share the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that makes up the data visualization starting at 0:11.

    A number of you have accurately pointed out that this list includes several jobs that are highly susceptible to automation (truck drivers, janitors, waiters and waitresses). It’s important to point out that this is not a list of “safe” jobs that are immune to automation in the long term. It’s based on labor economists’ predictions about the occupations with the highest number of new jobs in the next ten years. Indeed, you’ll find a number of the same jobs are classified as highly susceptible to automation in the Oxford study I mention at 1:25.

    So how can a job have possibilities for growth in the short term while being vulnerable to automation in the long term? In part, it’s because the technology that could eventually replace these jobs is still being developed. Trucking is a great example– online shopping has pushed demand for truckers upwards in the short term, but as Christophe notes in Episode 2 of this series, the long-term outlook for profession is fairly grim. Check out his excellent vid here:


    • Jeff Harbaugh says:

      Vox “What can I do”?

      According to the experts you should:
      1. Garden with sustainable agriculture techniques (less pesticides and fertilizer (organic or better yet permaculture)).
      2. Buy food and manufactured goods made locally
      3. Pay down debt
      4. Learn skills they will be useful in the future and make friends that have useful skills you don’t have (related to providing food, water, shelter, and medical care. A necessary skill is organic/permaculture gardening/farming). Very important: medical skills are the best way to ensure your survival. All others will gladly sacrifice their life to protect your life, so you are around to use your medical knowledge to keep their families alive.
      5. I recommend to invest some money into technologies to increase the “carrying capacity” of the planet (high risk investments);
      A. decrease environmental impact per capital
      B. alternatives for our food system input to improve production
      C. alternatives to our current living arrangements,
      D. alternatives to our plastics industry,
      E. alternatives to disaster capitalism
      F. “Savior technologies”, ie faster-than-light travel, “game changer” technologies, ie Cold fusion energy & “delaying technologies”, ie deep drilling technologies.
      6. I also recommend you inform and prepare your family, friends, and others. It is best to initially suggest people have an emergency kit… for any emergency such as flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, loss of electricity due to a winter storm. Then, if the friend or relative puts together a disaster kit, what I do is introduce Peak Oil (by telling them of the 43 second movie trailer , the “National Geographic Collapse” movie on YouTube, & free book downloads;
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    • Crimson Corsair says:

      Vox misleading, I’m a man and i have this job.

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