Sex Roles

, Volume 8, Issue 7, pp 683–690 | Cite as

Sex differences in student dominance behavior in female and male professors' classrooms

  • Virginia R. Brooks


Measures of verbal participation and interaction among graduate students provided a comparison of male and female dominance behavior in the classroom, and measures of the contextual effect of sex of professor provided further data on the interrelatedness of sex, status, and dominance behavior. Male students were found to exhibit significantly more aggressiveness (interruptive behavior) than female students in both male and female professors' classes, although significantly more male aggressiveness occurred in female professors' classes than in male professors classes. Male students were significantly more assertive (frequency and duration of speech) in female professors' classes only. In student-to-student interaction, aggressiveness was predominantly exchanged between sexes rather than among same-sex members.


Social Psychology Graduate Student Female Student Contextual Effect Male Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aries, E. Interaction patterns and themes of male, female, and mixed groups. Proceedings of the 82nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. Aronson, E. The theory of cognitive dissonance: A current perspective. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 4). New York: Academic Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. Bardwick, J. Psychology of women. New York: Harper-Row, 1971.Google Scholar
  4. Bem, S. Psychology looks at sex-roles: Where have all the androgynous people gone? Paper presented at the University of California- Los Angeles Symposium on Women, Los Angeles, May 1972.Google Scholar
  5. Bernard, J. Academic women. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1964.Google Scholar
  6. Block, J. H., Von Der Lippe, A., & Block, J. Sex-role and socialization patterns: Some personality concomitants and environmental antecedents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1973, 41, 321–341.Google Scholar
  7. Cannon, M., & Redick, R. Differential utilization of psychiatric facilities by men and women, United States. National Institute of Mental Health, Statistical Note 81. Washington, D.C.: Survey and Reports Section, Biometry Branch, 1973.Google Scholar
  8. Eisler, R. M., Hersen, M., & Blanchard, E. B. Situational determinants of assertive behaviors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1975, 43, 333–340.Google Scholar
  9. Farberow, N., & Schneidman, E. Statistical comparisons between attempted and committed suicides. In N. Farberow, The cry for help. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965.Google Scholar
  10. Frieze, I. H., & Ramsey, S. J. Nonverbal maintenance of traditional sex roles. Journal of Social Issues, 1976, 32, 133–141.Google Scholar
  11. Galassi, J. P., Delo, J. S., Galassi, M. D., & Bastein, S. The College Sex-Expression Scales: A measure of assertiveness. Behavior Therapy, 1974, 5, 165–171.Google Scholar
  12. Goldberg, P. Are women prejudiced against women? Transaction, April 1968, pp. 28–33.Google Scholar
  13. Gove, W. The relationship between sex-roles, marital status and mental illness. Social Forces, 1972, 51, 33–44.Google Scholar
  14. Gurin, G., Veroff, J., & Feld, S. Americans view their mental health: A nationwide interview survey. New York: Basic Books, 1960.Google Scholar
  15. Hagen, R. L., & Kahn, A. Discrimination against competent women. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1975, 5, 362–376.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, K. Sex differences in initiation and influence in decision making groups of prospective teachers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, 1972.Google Scholar
  17. Hollandsworth, J. G., Jr., & Wall, K. E. Sex differences in assertive behavior: An empirical investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1977, 24, 217–222.Google Scholar
  18. Horner, M. Fail: Bright women. Psychology Today, 1969, 3, 36–38.Google Scholar
  19. Johnson, W. B., & Terman, L. M. Personality characteristics of happily married, unhappily married, and divorced persons. Character and personality, 1935, 2(June), 305–305.Google Scholar
  20. Knupfer, G., Clark, W., & Room, R. The mental health of the unmarried. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1966, 122, 841–851.Google Scholar
  21. Kuhl, E. C., Jr. Assertion training effects on oral classroom behavior of college students (Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, 1976). Dissertation Abstracts International, 1976, 37, 810A-811A. (University Microfilms No. 76–18, 822)Google Scholar
  22. Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. The psychology of sex differences. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  23. Mednick, M. T. S., & Weissman, H. J. The psychology of women—Selected topics. In S. Cox (Ed.), Female psychology: The emerging self. Palo Alto: Science Research Associates, 1976.Google Scholar
  24. Richey, C. A. Increased female assertiveness through self-reinforcement. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1974.Google Scholar
  25. Shaffer, D. R., & Wegley, C. Success orientation and sex-role congruence as determinants of the attractiveness of competent women. Journal of Personality, 1974, 42, 586–600.Google Scholar
  26. Skillings, R. E., Hersen, M., Bellack, A. S., & Becker, M. P. Relationship of specific and global measures of assertion in college females. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1978, 34, 346–353.Google Scholar
  27. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. Who likes competent women? Competence, sex-role congruence of interests, and subjects' attitudes toward women as determinants of interpersonal attraction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1972, 2, 197–213.Google Scholar
  28. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Selected symptoms of psychological distress, United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Public Health Service, Health Service and Mental Health Administration, August 1970.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia R. Brooks
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Social WorkUniversity of HoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations