The Effects of Sex of Subject and Sex of Partner on Interruptions



    1. Kathryn Dindia (Ph.D., University of Washington) is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The author would like to thank Jodi Conger, Dean Hewes, Bob McPhee, Art VanLear, Jack Johnson, and Ed Mabry for their assistance with this article.
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Sex differences in interruption behavior were examined using the Kraemer-Jacklin (1979) procedure to isolate and test the effects of sex of subject, sex of partner, and their interaction while controlling for between partner correlation. The results of the study were three. First, men did not interrupt more than women and women did not get interrupted more than men. Instead, there were more opposite-sex interruptions, both male-female and female-male, than same-sex interruptions, both female-female and male-male. Second, interruptions were asymmetrically distributed in both same-sex and opposite-sex dyads. However, in opposite-sex dyads males did not interrupt females more than females interrupted males. Third, women did not have less assertive behaviors interrupted; they did not interrupt less assertively, nor did they respond less assertively to interruptions.