The Unicorn: The Rarity of Males in Speech-Language Pathology Purpose The purpose of this survey was to understand the current status of male speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are members of international speech-language pathology associations and to comprehend if male recruitment efforts have been implemented and the results of such initiatives. Method ... Article
Article  |   August 14, 2018
The Unicorn: The Rarity of Males in Speech-Language Pathology
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ivan Campos
    Riverside Unified School District Ringgold Standard Institution–Special Education, Riverside, CA
  • Mike Skiados
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Ringgold Standard Institution–Director, Membership, Rockville, MD
  • Perry Flynn
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children, Raleigh, NC
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Ivan Campos has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Mike Skiados has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Perry Flynn has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Ivan Campos has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Mike Skiados has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Perry Flynn has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Ivan Campos has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Perry Flynn is a member of the ASHA Board of Directors. Mike Skiados is an employee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
    Nonfinancial: Ivan Campos has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Perry Flynn is a member of the ASHA Board of Directors. Mike Skiados is an employee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / International & Global / Part 1
Article   |   August 14, 2018
The Unicorn: The Rarity of Males in Speech-Language Pathology
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2018, Vol. 3, 29-37. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG17.29
History: Received March 15, 2018 , Revised May 29, 2018 , Accepted June 14, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2018, Vol. 3, 29-37. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG17.29
History: Received March 15, 2018; Revised May 29, 2018; Accepted June 14, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this survey was to understand the current status of male speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are members of international speech-language pathology associations and to comprehend if male recruitment efforts have been implemented and the results of such initiatives.

Method More than 65 international speech-language pathology associations outside the United States were identified and surveyed via publicly available e-mail addresses. Thirty-one international associations responded to the 4 survey questions: (a) history of the association, (b) membership demographics over time, (c) male recruitment efforts and outcomes, and (d) future direction(s).

Result The findings of this survey of 31 international speech-language pathology associations suggest that male SLPs are underrepresented in the profession, with males representing an overall mean of 5.8% of total membership, which is similar to the situation in the United States with a male membership of 3.7% of total membership. The continent with the highest percentage (M = 13.4%) of male SLPs was Asia (n = 8). The Indian Speech and Hearing Association had the highest percentage of male SLPs reported at 35.6% of their total membership (n = 3173). The continent with the lowest percentage (M = 3%) of male SLPs was North America (n = 2). It is noted that several associations did not report male membership data due to the following: updating records (Singapore), no data available to report at this time (Colombia, Panama), this information is not collected (Denmark, Norway), or no male members at this time (Trinidad and Tobago). Of the 31 associations surveyed, 2 associations (England, Australia) reported past male recruitment efforts, and 4 associations (England, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia) indicated plans for future male recruitment efforts.

Conclusion Although several other national speech, language, and hearing associations have undertaken similar initiatives to recruit males, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is deeply engaged and committed to this effort. The authors hope that readers will join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in publicizing the attractiveness of our work to target audiences in support of the Association's envisioned future of a more diverse membership, including greater representation of males, to more closely mirror the population of our country and the clients, patients, and students that we serve.

Acknowledgments
The authors appreciate the cooperation of the associations that provided information for this article and for the work Chandrashekar Vittalbabu and Alejandro Ashe did in contacting associations for their input.
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