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Bedouin Women’s Gender Preferences When Choosing Obstetricians and Gynecologists


Patients’ preferences in choosing obstetricians/gynecologists are widely investigated, but studies among traditional populations are lacking. Bedouins comprise a traditional Arab Muslim society in the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia), The Levant (Syria, Jordan and Israel) and North Africa (Egypt). Most of the Bedouins in Israel populate several villages, mostly in the southern part of the country. This cross-sectional study compared 200 Bedouin and 200 Jewish women who responded to an anonymous questionnaire. Queried on gender alone, more Bedouin responders preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists (59.5 vs. 33% Jewish responders, p value <0.0001). Bedouin women preferred a female obstetrician/gynecologist for intimate procedures [feeling more comfortable (66.3%) and believing that females were more gentle (50%)]. However, they and the Jewish participants ranked ability, experience and knowledge as the top 3 qualities of an obstetrician/gynecologist, putting reputation in 4th place and gender in 5th place. Bedouin women strongly preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists, although professional skills were an important factor in their choice of caregiver. The ideal obstetrician/gynecologist for Bedouin women would be a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced female.

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We are grateful to the women who participated in this study and agreed to share their views and concerns with us.

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Correspondence to Hadar Amir.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standard

This study was reviewed and approved by the Soroka Medical Center Institutional Review Board and complied with all ethics standards.

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All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of human subjects were followed.

Informed Consent

The study protocol was reviewed and approved by the Soroka Medical Center Institutional Review Board (0094-15-SOR) which waived informed consent for this study format.

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Amir, H., Abokaf, H., Levy, Y.A. et al. Bedouin Women’s Gender Preferences When Choosing Obstetricians and Gynecologists. J Immigrant Minority Health 20, 51–58 (2018).

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  • Bedouins
  • Religious
  • Obstetricians/gynecologists
  • Gender