P1: GVM/GCY/GAY/GEE P2: GVM/GMX
Sex Roles [sers] pp267-sers-345906 August 30, 2001 14:3 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Sex Roles, Vol. 44, Nos. 9/10, 2001
Gender Differences and Similarities in Dominance
Hierarchies in Same-Gender Groups Based
on Speaking Time
Marianne Schmid Mast
Northeastern University, Boston
This study aimed at investigating whether all-women and all-men groups
differed in their hierarchical organization and stability of their rank orders
across time. One hundred and sixteen European, middle-class, noncollege
women and men (average age: 38) participated in small-group discussions
twice within a week with the same group members. Speaking time served as
the behavioral dominance indicator on which group hierarchies were based.
Additionally, group members rank ordered each other on dominance after
each interaction. In the ﬁrst session, all-men groups were more hierarchically
structured than all-women groups. During each session, all-women and all-
men groups showed a similar signiﬁcant increase in hierarchical structuring.
For both women and men, rank orders remained stable during interactions
and from the ﬁrst to the second session. Results are discussed in terms of three
theoretical models describing dominance hierarchies.
Dominance is an important dimension of social interactions (Gifford,
1991; Wiggins, 1979) and the emergence of dominance hierarchies in small
groups is well documented (e.g., Bales, 1950; Berger, Fisek, Norman, &
Zelditch, 1977). Research has mainly focused on how dominance hierar-
chies are formed (Mazur, 1985; Ridgeway & Berger, 1986) and much less
research effort was invested in the question of gender differences in the
Parts of the reported data has been presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psycho-
logical Association, EPA, Baltimore, 2000.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Psychology, Northeastern
University, 125 Nightingale Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; e-mail: MMAST@neu.edu.
2001 Plenum Publishing Corporation