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YouTube attacked over sexist videos

Top YouTube ‘nursing’ videos slammed for demeaning nurses.

Irish researchers have called for legislative changes to protect the reputation of the nursing profession following recent studies that show YouTube’s most popular depictions of nurses are “negative” and “demeaning”.

The top-10 videos, rated by popularity and related to the keywords “nurses” and “nursing”, include a Belgian lingerie television commercial, a Virgin Mobile TV commercial and an excerpt from the US smash-hit comedy series Frasier.

Others in the list included a package from an internet TV news show, and sitcom and cartoon excerpts that showed nurses as either incompetent or stupid, or as sexual playthings for male fantasies.

Collectively, they “[propagate] gender-bound, negative and demeaning nursing stereotypes,” said Gerard Fealy, a professor of nursing and midwifery at University College, Dublin, who led a recent investigation into the mass-media portrayal of nurses.

“Such stereotypes can influence how people see nurses and behave towards them,” he said.
Fealy called for change. “We feel that the professional bodies that regulate and represent nurses need to lobby legislators to protect the profession from undue stereotyping and support nurses who are keen to use YouTube to promote their profession in a positive light,” he said.

Six of the top-10 videos portrayed nurses in a negative context. The other four clips were posted by nurses and reflected the roles nurses play in a professional, rewarding and supportive context.

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