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Why are most ASL translators female?

Seems like every TV show with accompanying translation (you see this less with closed captioning), every lecture, every corporate event I see/attend with ASL translation, it's a woman doing it.  Sometimes more than one.  Why, I wonder? 

Date: 2007-10-23 06:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] larisa57.livejournal.com
I'm not sure. My ASL I class last semester was split 7/3, female/male. This semester, it's half and half. Definitely the majority of students I see in the hallways (at the times I'm there, pretty much the only students in the academic buildings are the ASL students) are female.

I'm going to guess that it's because being an interpreter is a job that requires a fairly specialized skill set but doesn't pay that much. Also, not generally a full-time job -- there are some places that need full-time interpreters, but for the events like you mentioned, they're just hired for the time of the event. So very much a set your own hours sort of job. All these things tend to be the types of jobs that attract more women than men.

Date: 2007-10-23 09:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vwbug.livejournal.com
I have no idea...

Thinking back on my two ASL classes, they were primarily women. In the last class there were two men--one who was losing his hearing (he was there with his wife) and one who was mostly blind (and none of us were quite sure why he was there. Nice guy, but boy was that a challenge!). It's an interesting observation, though...

Date: 2007-10-23 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chikat.livejournal.com
I dunno but you're right. At my previous school, we had 2 ASL interpreters. One woman and one man, but he's been the exception in my experiences. The other guys I knew who signed did so because one was deaf and the other was deaf as a child. And, they weren't interpreters, just speakers of the language.

Date: 2007-10-23 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zenkitty-714.livejournal.com
I wonder if it's because ASL translating can be seen as a sort of "caretaking" profession? Women seem to be more drawn to those than men, overall.

Date: 2007-10-24 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mearagrrl.livejournal.com
No idea, but there's also a lot of gays.

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