If I asked the following question,

Why did Kabuki [a Japanese performing art] change from predominantly female to predominantly male?

I assume the question would be on-topic under "Cultures and historical practices". But if I were to ask

Why are most dental hygienists female in present-day United States?

would that be off-topic, because it's about the present day?

1 Answer 1


That question as presented would probably be off topic.

However, I feel it is readily modifiable to fit History.SE. For example, it could be edited into "When and why did dental hygienists become a predominantly female profession in the United States?"

It is not precisely the same question, but I think it would answer a lot of the same questions. And yet, I would argue, it becomes about the history of the dental health industry, rather than current-day employment factors and labour statistics.

  • 4
    This is pretty much my feeling as well. The original question can be answered using historical information, but it could also be answered using sociology and psychology with no reference to history at all. Making it clear you want the former keeps things on topic here. If that isn't what you want, then yes the question is probably off-topic.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Oct 9, 2014 at 13:05
  • @Semaphore I generally agree though I think it would still be useful to have a general guideline of say "nothing in the last 10-20 years" as otherwise you are really talking about current statistics and not history per say as otherwise the history of the 2014 stock market its high and its low technically could be 'on topic'.
    – CRSouser
    Dec 12, 2014 at 17:01

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