Title

"Girls don't talk about garages!": Perceptions of conversation in same- and cross-sex friendships

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-1997

Abstract

This investigation examined respondents' perceptions of differences in the conversational behavior of same-sex friends and cross-sex friends. Respondents read brief transcripts of conversations from which all obvious gender identifiers had been removed and then were asked to indicate whether the conversations were between male friends, female friends, or cross-sex friends and to specify what features of the conversations had led them to their judgment. Respondents were better than expected by chance at accurately distinguishing the conversations, and by far the most common feature that respondents used in making their discriminations was the topic being discussed. However, other important discriminating features included the use of profanity and certain slang terms and expressions, the occurrence of dysfluencies, how certain topics were discussed, the presence of gossip, the tone of the discussion, the openness of the conversation, and how much the conversants seemed to know about what they were discussing. Based on the respondents' observations, a number of propositions were then formulated representing beliefs that many individuals apparently hold in their relational schemata about conversational behavior in same-sex and cross-sex friendships. Copyright © 1997 Cambridge University Press.

Publication Name

Personal Relationships

Volume Number

4

First Page

115

Last Page

130

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1111/j.1475-6811.1997.tb00134.x

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