Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Glenda Campbell-evan

Second Advisor

Dr Anna Lichtenburg

Third Advisor

Dr Rod Chadbourne


In the past the majority of occupations were very clearly divided into 'men's work' and 'women's work' and such attitudes persist today. The man who crosses over into an occupation traditionally considered to be a female occupation upsets society's gender assumptions. Some research indicates that there are many advantages for these men; others have found that it is a difficult transition creating many problems for the men involved, one of the most significant being the persistent questioning of their sexual orientation. This research takes a close look at the experiences of four men in non-traditional male occupations. The subjects studied are working as a nurse, secretary, early childhood educator and a sexual assault counsellor. The purpose of this study was to investigate the barriers, difficulties and highlights in the experiences of the subjects in their chosen non-traditional male occupations. A case study methodology has been used and the experiences of the subjects documented as they presented them. It is intended that readers have the opportunity to draw their own conclusions from the data beyond those identified by the researcher and it has therefore been presented in a format that incorporates much direct quotation from the interview transcripts. Comparisons between the cases and with the literature have been made by the researcher and the relevance to counselling and future research discussed. Three of the four men are very happy with their chosen occupations and intend to continue in their line of work. They all feel that although they have encountered some difficulties because of their gender the benefits far outweighed them. It was of significance that sexuality was an issue rather than gender with two of the candidates indicating that there is need for futher investigation into this issue.