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Editor,—Professor Davies1 is entitled to his views on gender roles, although I do not share his opinions. Leaving aside the philosophical considerations, there are important and immediate practical issues to be faced. Today, most trainee paediatricians are female2 and this clearly presents a challenge to the profession in adapting to inevitable changes in working practices for both the male and female consultants of the future. Fortunately, our specialty welcomes women and the difficulties of being a woman in a man’s world are fading fast as we become the rule rather than the exception.
Perhaps more of a worry for us should be our sons’ futures. We need to consider ways to develop their self esteem and pride in their masculinity, which they will need to sustain them as they are increasingly threatened by the superior performance of their female peers. Equipping our sons for survival in the world of equal opportunity might turn out to be one of the more important challenges of parenthood and education as we enter the 21st century.
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