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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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What Makes Women the “Silent Sex” When Their Status Is Low?

What Makes Women the “Silent Sex” When Their Status Is Low?

(p.143) Chapter 6 What Makes Women the “Silent Sex” When Their Status Is Low?
The Silent Sex

Christopher F. Karpowitz

Tali Mendelberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how women are the “silent sex,” in a manner of speaking. In the settings that characterize most arenas of politics and public affairs, and in many other formal discussions that take place in civic organizations, work teams, and other common venues, women are not a majority, and the norm of interaction has masculine characteristics. Numbers and norms of interaction combine to deter women from fully expressing their thoughts. The chapter looks for clues to explain why women overcome the difficulties when they are placed in other circumstances. The evidence presented points toward several aspects of gender as culprits. Most importantly, confidence has much to do with women's relative quiescence.

Keywords:   women, silent sex, politics, public affairs, civic organizations, gender, confidence

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