April 19, 2011
The president-elect of the American College of Surgeons stepped down amid controversy over a sexist Valentines Day editorial published touting beneficial effects of semen (and unprotected sex) on women’s moods. Though not directly harmful to any patients, his editorial was viewed by many as being a continuation the disruptive behavior of a “good ol’ boy’s club” that is disrespectful and intolerant of women. The field of surgery, in particular, has stereotypically been seen as men’s field, and female surgeons have often faced very difficult times during their training. This has, of course, improved over the years, but apparently not enough. The legal and cultural aspects of the working environment – – including the hospital and the OR – – have evolved in the past couple decades; what once was considered a harmless joke is now increasingly recognized as being distasteful, intolerant and abusive.