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Differences in activity, influence, and task orientation between males and females have been noted in small group research and have been attributed to differences in sex-role socialization. Similar differences in behavior are predicted from the formal theory of status characteristics and expectation states; methods for improving the imbalance in power and prestige between males and females in work groups are also derivable from the theory. This paper characterizes sex as a status characteristic, presents data supportive of the characterization, and offers suggestions for remedying the noted imbalance.