Medical Patient Modesty - a non-profit organization to improve patient modesty in medical settings


Male Patient Modesty

Many people wrongly assume that men don't care about their modesty. This is not true in many cases. Societal norms say men are not supposed to be modest; that this is a sign of weakness. Males are socialized from childhood to “man up”, make believe it doesn’t bother them, when faced with an embarrassing medical exam or procedure. To acknowledge embarrassment only serves to amplify it.

Most men would not be comfortable with a strange woman watching them use a urinal and they feel the same awkward discomfort about female nurses seeing them naked. Many men are upset that the medical community assumes that male patient modesty is not important. Men who desire modesty in medical settings are often mocked. Countless men value their modesty quite highly; many are afraid to speak up.

Because of their limited numbers, male nurses and technicians are often simply not available to do intimate male procedures such as urinary catheterizations and scrotal ultrasound. Also, getting an all-male surgical team—for intimate male surgeries such as vasectomy, prostatectomy, hernia repair, etc.—is difficult to schedule at many hospitals. Scheduling an all-female surgery team for a female patient’s procedure is more accessible because most hospitals employ a limited number of male nurses working in gynecology.

In larger cities women generally have the option of going to an all-female ob/gyn practice; whereas, many urology clinics do not employ any male nurses or medical assistants. About 75% of urology patients are male. In the United States finding a male doctor is easy; finding an all-male staffed urology clinic is very uncommon. Look at how many all-female ob/gyn practies there are compared to all-male urology clinics.

Interestingly, articles written about men not going to the doctor rarely mention modesty as one of the reasons. Why is this? It seems partly because the medical world does not openly discuss this issue and partly that men are afraid to speak up about this sensitive topic. Why doesn’t the medical world acknowledge this issue? Perhaps their obligation to it is uncertain. Why don’t men speak up? Because it seems he gets answers such as: “You don’t have anything I haven’t seen”, “Don’t be silly”, or “We’re all professionals here”, deter male patients.

Given a choice for intimate procedures most men would prefer a male nurse with less experience to an experienced female nurse. Skills do not factor into this decision. There was a time when male urinary catheterizations were routinely done by physicians or orderlies. Now these procedures are regularly done by nurses, and most often by females. The choice to request a male nurse is rarely offered to male patients even when the procedure is not urgent, male nurses are available, and the patient is clearly embarrassed.

Some reasons men do not want their private parts to be exposed to female medical personnel are:

1) Some men choose for their future wife or wife to be the only woman to see and handle his private parts. Also, there are some wives who never want their husbands to have female nurses present for intimate procedures.

2) Religious / moral convictions. Check out an article by a pastor about male patient modesty.

3) Privacy reasons.

4) Previous abuse.

Male modesty is not a weakness. It is very admirable for men to be modest. A lot of men prefer that their wives bathe them if they are sick and in the hospital.

Oddly, men get their wishes respected in locker rooms—that no women are present— but these same wishes are disregarded in medical settings.

Please check out some cases where men's modesty was violated. You may also want to look a blog that a lady wrote about male patient modesty at "Yes Virginia: It’s a Prostate Exam".

Medical Patient Modesty wants to help medical professionals and hospitals to be more sensitive to male patient modesty, and to hire more male nurses. Many medical professionals don't realize it is just as important to respect male patient modesty as female patient modesty.

Male patients who desire modesty or male doctors/nurses in medical settings should speak up for their wishes regardless of embarrassment. Also, wives can help this issue by being bold as well, to ensure that their husbands' wishes for modesty are met. We encourage men to consider starting a petition in their local community to ask the urology practice to hire male nurses and assistants. You can use this sample petition and modify it.

We also encourage men to print the article, How Urologists Can Be More Sensitive to Men's Modesty? and share it with urologists.

Check out our online directory of men's clinics with all male medical staff and tips for modest male patients.

man with doctor

Related Articles About Male Patient Modesty:

MedicalMeToo# - Blog of Man Who Was Abused During Venous Ablation Procedure

How Male Urinary Catheterization is Done

Tips For Modest Male Patients

Tips For Urology Patients

How Urologists Can Be More Sensitive to Men's Modesty?

Men and Modesty in Medical Settings Brochures

Surgery and Your Modesty

Modesty Concerns For Procedures and Surgeries

Unnecessary Underwear Removal For Surgeries

Tips For Patients


Why Men Patients are Forced to Man Up in the Medical Setting

Men, Manliness, and Being Naked Around Other Men

Would same-gender care increase the utilization of health care by men in the US?

Male Urologic Dilemma

The naked patient: The modesty movement won't take it lying down

Patient gender preferences for medical care

Hospital Sanctioned Sexual Abuse - a blog that talks about one man's experience with female nurses abusing him.

Pastor's Article on Male Patient Modesty

YouTube Videos About Male Patient Modesty Issues:

Male Modesty In Healthcare Setting by Argh IMO

Assisting Male Patients With Personal Care - Robin Lenart, the executive director of Dignity Resource Council demonstrated how Honor Guard garments can help to protect the dignity of male patients who need assistance with bathing and other personal care in this video.




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