Black, Linda L.

Committee Member

Helm, Heather

Committee Member

Koehler-Hak, Katherine M.

Committee Member

Welsh, Marilyn


Applied Psychology & Counselor Education


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





228 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The focus of this case study was to better understand male counseling students' perceptions of female clients, peers, and faculty and how those perceptions impacted their interactions. Gender is a significant factor in the counseling relationship, and our culture; gender and gender stereotypes play a large role in our lives and our interactions. Understanding male counseling students' perceptions of females could help to inform the current state of gender awareness and sensitivity in counseling training and education. Ten male, graduate counseling students engaged in two semi-structured interviews, responded to four journal prompts, and provided artifacts in order to gain an understanding of their current perceptions of women, specifically, their female clients, peers, and faculty. The data were subsumed into the following 15 broad categories then synthesized into nine themes: Importance of Gender in Counseling; Gap in Gender Training; Men and Women are Different; Women, the Softer Half; Looks Matter, for Women; Patriarchy's Oppression of Men; It's Not Men's Fault, Women have the Power; Lack of Self-Awareness and Contradictions; and You Can't Trust Most Women. These themes were organized into three findings, The Need for Training and Education; Sex Bias and Sexism in Counseling; and Men's Response to Sexism, to discuss the findings and recommendations. According to the findings, there was a critical need for intentional focus on gender issues in counselor education and training to address gender issues, biases, stereotyping, the need for increased sensitivity, and the importance of counselor self-awareness. This study provided additional support for the increased emphasis on gender issues for counselors in training, because gender is a key element in counseling relationships. Implications and recommendations included specifics surrounding gender education and training, and professional development and accountability of faculty as it relates to gender.


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