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Abstract

Objective: Identify and assess inter-gender differences in pharmacists’ behavior and perceptions while controlling for number of hours worked. Design: Every respondent is classified into two independent categories: gender and work input. Behavior and opinion variables are studied. Behavior variables measure who the pharmacist is and what he/she does; opinion variables measure perceptions related to satisfaction with his/her professional life. Setting: Survey questionnaire mailed to 5,000 registered pharmacists throughout the U.S. in 2004. Results: Compared to their male counterparts, female pharmacists are younger, possess less experience and job longevity, and earn lower levels of income and wage rates. These patterns are observed in every work-input category. Systematic variation in behavior variables by work-input category is more common within men than within women. Practitioners respond more positively toward job-specific than toward career-specific opinion variables, and this trend occurs more often for men than for women. In their general perception of pharmacy as a profession, women respond more positively than do men, but with respect to their own job situation, fewer gender disparities and more differences by work-input category are detected. As the level of work effort increases, male practitioners report less satisfaction, more appreciation, greater workload, more stress, less autonomy, and fewer advancement opportunities about their jobs, whereas women’s response is limited to heavier workloads and more stress. Conclusion: Male and female pharmacists exhibit different behavior characteristics, and these differences appear consistently in the three work-input categories. The conclusions derived from the analysis of opinion variables are less definitive, but provide a meaningful contribution towards understanding the forces shaping practitioners’ perceptions.

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