The Male Nursing Student as a Token



The purpose of this research was to test the applicability of Kanter's theory of tokenism to male nursing students. Kanter's theory states that numerical underrepresentation, not cultural factors, causes tokens to experience greater performance pressure, social isolation, and role entrapment. Subjects were 322 male and female nursing students from two similar midwestern nursing schools. Subjects completed instruments measuring social isolation, upward communication distortion, performance pressure, and communication apprehension. This research did not find support for Kanter's claims. Possible explanations for the findings include sex status differences and the nurturing character of the nursing profession.