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The Silent SexGender, Deliberation, and Institutions$
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Christopher F. Karpowitz and Tali Mendelberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159751

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159751.001.0001

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Why Women Don’t Speak

Why Women Don’t Speak

(p.51) Chapter 3 Why Women Don’t Speak
The Silent Sex

Christopher F. Karpowitz

Tali Mendelberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers how women on average tend to have lower confidence and to be more affected by that lower confidence, to dislike conflict and seek cooperation, and to seek a sense of connection to others. These differences between men and women may become consequential when individuals assemble in groups. The chapter identifies two possible reasons why groups matter in this way. First, the fewer women are present, the more the interaction takes on a masculine character. Second, the fewer women, the more confident participants the women encounter and the lower their sense of capacity to function as a valued member of the group. This is called the “minority status” hypothesis. A corollary is the “enclave” hypothesis: all-female groups provide aspecial boost to women.

Keywords:   women, lower confidence, cooperation, men, confident participants, minority status, all-female groups

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