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The Sexual Politics of Interpersonal Behavior
by Nancy Henley and Jo Freeman

This article was originally written by Nancy Henley, then rewritten and augmented by Jo Freeman. It has been published in all five editions of Women: A Feminist Perspective, after updating by Nancy. The version here is from the fifth edition.

Social interaction is the battlefield on which the daily war between the sexes is fought. It is here that women are constantly reminded what their "place" is and here that they are put back in their place, should they venture out. Thus, social interaction serves as the locus of the most common means of social control employed against women. By being continually reminded of their inferior status in their interactions with others, and continually compelled to acknowledge that status in their own patterns of behavior, women may internalize society's definition of them as inferior so thoroughly that they are often unaware of what their status is. Inferiority becomes habitual, and the inferior place assumes the familiarity -- and even desirability -- of home.
Different sorts of cues in social interaction aid this enforcement of one's social definition, particularly the verbal message, the nonverbal message transmitted within a social relationship, and the nonverbal message transmitted by the environment. Our educational system emphasizes the verbal message but teaches us next to nothing about how we interpret and react to the nonverbal one. Just how important nonverbal messages are, however, is shown by the finding of Argyle et al.1 that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact of verbal ones when verbal and nonverbal cues are used together. Even more important for women, Argyle found that female subjects were more responsive to nonverbal cues (compared with verbal ones) than male subjects. This finding has been confirmed in the extensive research of Rosenthal and his colleagues.2 In studies of subjects of all ages and from a variety of occupations and cultures, they found consistently greater sensitivity to nonverbal communication among females than among males. If women are to understand how the subtle forces of social control work in their lives, they must learn as much as possible about how nonverbal cues affect people and particularly how they perpetuate the power and superior status enjoyed by men.



Even if a woman encounters no one else directly in her day, visual status reminders permeate her environment. As she moves through the day, she absorbs many variations of the same status theme, whether or not she is aware of it. Male bosses dictate while female secretaries bend over their steno pads. Male doctors operate while female nurses assist. At lunchtime, restaurants are populated with female table servers who wait on men. Magazine and billboard ads remind the woman that home maintenance and child care are her foremost responsibilities and that being a sex object for male voyeurs is her greatest asset. If she is married, her mail reminds her that she is a mere "Mrs." appended to her husband's name. When she is introduced to others or fills out a written form, the first thing she must do is divulge her marital status, acknowledging the social rule that the most important information anyone can know about her is her legal relationship to a man. Her spatial subordination is shown in ways parallel to that of other animal and human subordinates: Women's "territory" (office space at work, individual rooms, or space at home) tends to be less extensive and less desirable (e.g., not having office windows) than is men's. Women are not as free to move in others' territory or "open" territory (e.g., city streets) as are men.
Advertisements form a large part of our visual world, and the messages of advertisements are subtle but compelling in suggesting that the way the sexes are shown in them is the usual and appropriate arrangement. Sociologist Erving Goffman3 describes six themes involving gender distinctions in advertising pictures: relative size, especially height, used to symbolize the greater importance of men than of women; feminine touch that is delicate, not truly grasping; function ranking, in which males direct and guide action while females are directed or watch; the family, in which fathers are linked with boys (and are distant) and mothers are linked with girls and girlhood; the ritualization of subordination, in which women, by lower spatial position, canting postures of the head and body, smiles, and clowning, display subordinate status to men; and licensed withdrawal, in which women are shown as relatively less oriented to the situation (often flooded with emotion or distracted by trivia) and are dependent on men. Goffman draws a parallel between the ritual of our everyday interaction and the hyperritualization of advertising: our "natural expressions" are commercials too, performed to sell a view of the world and of female-male (as well as other) relationships.


Environmental cues set the stage on which the power relationships of the sexes are acted out and the assigned status of each sex is reinforced.4 Although studies have been made of the several means by which status inequalities are communicated in interpersonal behavior, these studies do not usually deal with power relationships between men and women. Goffman has pointed to many characteristics associated with status:

Between status equals we may expect to find interaction guided by symmetrical familiarity. Between superordinate and subordinate we may expect to find asymmetrical relations, the superordinate having the right to exercise certain familiarities which the subordinate is not allowed to reciprocate. Thus, in the research hospital, doctors tended to call nurses by their first names, while nurses responded with "polite" or "formal" address. Similarly, in American business organizations the boss may thoughtfully ask the elevator man how his children are, but this entrance into another's life may be blocked to the elevator man, who can appreciate the concern but not return it. Perhaps the clearest form of this is found in the psychiatrist-patient relation, where the psychiatrist has a right to touch on aspects of the patient's life that the patient might not even allow himself to touch upon, while of course this privilege is not reciprocated.

Rules of demeanor, like rules of deference, can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Between social equals, symmetrical rules of demeanor seem often to be prescribed. Between unequals many variations can be found. For example, at staff meetings on the psychiatric units of the hospital, medical doctors had the privilege of swearing, changing the topic of conversation, and sitting in undignified positions; attendants, on the other hand, had the right to attend staff meetings and to ask questions during them . . . but were implicitly expected to conduct themselves with greater circumspection than was required of doctors.... Similarly, doctors had the right to saunter into the nurses' station, lounge on the station's dispensing counter, and engage in joking with the nurses; other ranks participated in this informal interaction with doctors, but only after doctors had initiated it.5

A status variable that illustrates rules of symmetry and asymmetry is the use of terms of address, widely studied by Brown and others.6 In languages that have both familiar and polite forms of the second person singular ("you"), asymmetrical use of the two forms invariably indicates a status difference, and it always follows the same pattern. The person using the familiar form is always the superior to the person using the polite form. In English, the only major European language not to have dual forms of address, status differences are similarly indicated by the right of first-naming (addressing a person by his or her given name rather than surname): The status superior can first-name the inferior in situations in which the inferior must use the superior's title and last name. An inferior who breaks this rule by inappropriately using a superior's first name is considered insolent.7
According to Brown, the pattern evident in the use of forms of address applies to a very wide range of interpersonal behavior and invariably has two other components: (1) whatever form is used by a superior in situations of status inequality can be used reciprocally by intimates, and whatever form is used by an inferior is the socially prescribed usage for nonintimates; (2) initiation or increase of intimacy is the right of the superior. To use the example of naming again to illustrate the first component, friends use first names with each other, whereas strangers use titles and last names (although "instant" intimacy is considered proper in some cultures, such as our own, among status equals in informal settings). As an example of the second component, status superiors, such as professors, specifically tell status inferiors, such as students, when they may use the first name, and often rebuff the inferiors if they assume such a right without invitation.
The relevance of these patterns to status differences between the sexes is readily seen. The social rules say that all moves to greater intimacy are a male prerogative: It is boys who are supposed to call girls for dates, men who are supposed to propose marriage to women, and males who are supposed to initiate sexual activity with females. Females who make "advances" are considered improper, forward, aggressive, brassy, or otherwise "unladylike." By initiating intimacy, they have stepped out of their place and usurped a status prerogative. The value of such a prerogative is that it is a form of power. In interactions between the sexes, as in other human interactions, the one who has the right to initiate greater intimacy has more control over the relationship. Superior status brings with it not only greater prestige and greater privilege but also greater power.


The advantages of superior status are exemplified in many of the means of communicating status. Like the doctors in Goffman's research hospital, men are allowed such privileges as swearing and sitting in undignified positions, but women are denied them. Although the male privilege of swearing is curtailed in mixed company, the body movement permitted to women may be circumscribed even in all-female groups. It is considered ''unladylike" for a woman to use her body too forcefully, to sprawl, to stand with her legs widely spread, to sit with her feet up, or to cross the ankle of one leg over the knee of the other. Many of these positions are ones of strength or dominance.
Henley8 has reviewed the research evidence for sex differences in nonverbal behavior, linking it with evidence for differences due to power, status, or dominance. She concludes that the symbols and gestures used by males tend to be those of power and dominance, while the gestures of females tend to be those of subordination and submission. Wex9 reached similar conclusions through her examination of the public postures of women and men photographed in Germany.10 The more "feminine" a woman's clothes, the more circumscribed the use of her body. Depending on her clothes, she may be expected to sit with her knees together, not to sit cross- legged, or not even to bend over. Although these taboos seem to have lessened in recent years, how much so is unknown, and there are recurring social pressures for a "return to femininity," while etiquette arbiters assert that women must retain feminine posture no matter what their clothing.
Prior to the 1920s, women's clothes were designed to be confining and cumbersome. The dress-reform movement, which disposed of corsets and long skirts, was considered by many to have more significance for female emancipation than women's suffrage.11 Today women's clothes are often designed to be revealing of their bodies, but women are expected to restrict their body movements to avoid revealing too much. Furthermore, because women's clothes are contrived to cling and reveal women's physical features, rather than to be loose as men's are, women must resort to purses instead of pockets to carry their belongings. These "conveniences" (purses) have become, in a time of unisex clothing and hairstyles and other blurred sex distinctions, one of the surest signs of sex, and thus have developed the character of a stigma, a sign of women's shame --for example, when they are used by comics to ridicule both women and transvestites.


Women in our society are expected to reveal not only more of their bodies than men but also more of their minds and souls. Whereas men are expected to be stolid and impassive and not to disclose their feelings beyond certain limits, women are expected to express their feelings fully. Indeed research evidences indicates that both sexes do act out these stereotypes: Hall's review of thirty-eight studies of females and males as nonverbal communicators showed females to be more expressive than males in almost two-thirds of the studies surveyed.12 Does this mean that women are more emotional than men? Differences in emotional expression do not necessarily mean that the actual emotions are felt differently Just as different cultures operate under different norms for the appropriateness of emotional display, so do women and men have different "display rules." For example, a study attempting to separate felt emotion from display rules found no sex differences in emotional state experienced by subject in response to emotional stimuli, but did find women to show more facial activity than men.13 Female socialization encourages generally greater expression of emotion than does male socialization (although expression of anger is more sanctioned for men than for women).
Both socialization and expectations of others (social norms) are probably implicated in the frequent research finding that females are more self- disclosing to others than males are.14 Self- disclosure involves both expression of emotion and revelation of other personal and intimate information. Not only do we expect women to be more self-disclosing than men, but we see negative implications when women are not self-disclosing, or when men are: A psychological study found that men who were very self- disclosing, and women who were not very self-disclosing, were considered by others to be more psychologically maladjusted than were nondisclosing men and disclosing women.15 Such self- disclosure gives away knowledge about oneself, putting women at an immediate disadvantage relative to men: knowledge, as is often noted, is power.
The inverse relationship between disclosure and power has been reported in Goffman's earlier cited observations in a research hospital and in other studies.16 Self-disclosure is a means of enhancing another's power. When one person has greater access to information about another person, he or she has a resource the other person does not have. Thus, not only does power give status, but also status gives power. And those possessing neither must contribute to the power and status of others continuously.
Another factor adding to women's vulnerability is that they are socialized to care more than men -- especially about personal relationships. This puts them at a disadvantage, as Ross articulated in what he called the Law of Personal Exploitation: "In any sentimental relation the one who cares less can exploit the one who cares more." The same idea was stated more broadly by Waller and Hill as the Principle of Least Interest: "That person is able to dictate the conditions of association whose interest in the continuation of the affair is least."17 In other words, women's caring, like their openness, gives them less power in a relationship.
One way to indicate acceptance of one's place and deference to those of superior status is to follow the rules of "personal space." Sommer has observed that dominant animals and human beings have a larger envelope of inviolability surrounding them -- i.e., they are approached less closely -- than those of lower status.18 Various authors have subsequently shown that this rule applies between men and women, with women both having smaller personal space than men and tending to yield space to men when the two sexes come into proximity.19 And women's time, like their space, can be invaded readily.20


Touching is one of the closer invasions of one's personal space, and in our low-contact culture it implies privileged access to another person. People who accidentally touch other people generally take great pains to apologize; people forced into close proximity, for example, in a crowded elevator, often go to extreme lengths to avoid touching. Even the figurative meanings of the word convey a notion of access to privileged areas -- e.g., to one's emotions (one is touched by a sad story), or to one's purse (one is touched for ten dollars). In addition, the act of touching can be a subtle physical threat.
Remembering the patterns that Brown found in terms of address, it is enlightening to consider the interactions between pairs of persons of different status, and to picture who would be more likely to touch the other (put an arm around the shoulder or a hand on the back, tap the chest, hold the arm, or the like): teacher and student; master and servant; police officer and accused; doctor and patient; minister and parishioner; adviser and advisee; supervisor and worker; business executive and secretary. Again, we see that the form used by the status superior -- touching -- is the form used between intimates of equal status. It is considered presumptuous for a person of low status to initiate touch, like first-naming, with a person of higher status.
Some earlier observational and self-report studies indicated that females were touched more than males were, both as children (from six months on) and as adults. but we need more evidence than this to conclude that touching is associated with status; do other members of high-status groups touch members of low-status groups more than the reverse? In observations of incidents of touch in public urban places, higher-status persons did touch lower-status persons significantly more. In particular, men touched women more, even when all other variables were held constant.21 Not only behaviors, but also social interpretations of behavior associate power/dominance with touch; as Hall notes, "People's beliefs, anecdote, self-report, [and] observational studies of socioeconomic status and age, and one true experiment favor either the power-privilege idea or the idea that relative dominance increases as a consequence of touch initiation."22
Some studies have attempted to determine whether the effect of touch on perceptions of dominance is to increase the perceived dominance of the toucher, decrease the perceived dominance of the person touched, or both.23 Although the findings have been mixed, the preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that touching affects the perceived dominance of both the toucher and the touched. In an observational study in public places, researchers found that when mixed-sex couples walked together in public, the female was most often on the side of the male's dominant hand; that is, she was on his right if he was right-handed and on his left if he was left-handed. These researchers speculated that such "strong-arming" reflected male dominance and would allow more convenient male touching of the female.24
This touching asymmetry becomes most ambiguous and problematic in heterosexual situations when females may protest males' touch as presumptuous, only to be told they are too "uptight." Female office, restaurant, and factory workers and students are quite used to being touched by their male superordinates, but they are expected not to "misinterpret" such gestures as sexual advances. However, women who touch men may be interpreted as conveying sexual intent, as they have often found out when their intentions were quite otherwise. Such different interpretations are consistent with the status patterns found earlier. If touching indicates either power or intimacy, and women are deemed by men to be status inferiors, touching by women will be perceived as a gesture of intimacy, since power is not an acceptable interpretation.25


The most studied nonverbal communication among humans is probably eye contact, and here too we observe a sex difference. Researchers have found repeatedly that women look more at another person in a dyad than men do.26 Exline, Gray, and Schuette suggest that "willingness to engage in mutual visual interaction is more characteristic of those who are oriented towards inclusive and affectionate interpersonal relations,"27 but Rubin concludes that while "gazing may serve as a vehicle of emotional expression for women, [it] in addition may allow women to obtain cues from their male partners concerning the appropriateness of their behavior."28 This interpretation is supported by the data of Efran and Broughton, which show that male subjects too "maintain more eye contact with individuals toward whom they have developed higher expectancies for social approval."29
Looking, then, may be indicative of some dependency and
subordination. However, looking can also be an aggressive and dominant gesture, when it becomes a stare. Dovidio and Ellyson write, "In humans as in other primates, the stare widely conveys messages of interpersonal dominance and control. Research conducted over the past 60 years suggests that, in general, staring at another person is a dominance gesture while breaking eye contact or not looking is a sign of submission."30 How can the same gesture -- looking at another -- indicate both dominance and deference? Henley suggests that women may watch men when they are not being looked at, but lower or avert their gaze when a man looks at them, as submissive animals do when a dominant animal looks their way.31
Also, as Dovidio and Ellyson point out, the meaning of gaze depends on the context, and on the patterning of looking with other behaviors, most notably with speaking. A series of experiments by Ellyson, Dovidio, and their colleagues has developed a measure of "visual dominance": the ratio of [looking at another while speaking[ to [looking at another while listening]. In peer interaction, we tend to look while listening more than we look while speaking; however, visually dominant people, both men and women, have a greater proportion of look/speak to look/listen than do nondominant people. People with higher status, expert power, or an orientation to interpersonal control all showed higher visual dominance ratios than did people without those characteristics. Gender also affects visual dominance behavior: In an experiment with mixed-sex pairs, both female and male experts showed greater visual dominance in interaction with nonexperts; when there was no differential expertise, men still showed greater visual dominance than did women.32 Like other tiny habits of which we are scarcely aware, women's "modest" eye lowering can signal submission or subordinate position even when that message is not intended.


Gestures of dominance and submission can be verbal as well as nonverbal. Subtle verbal cues -- especially paralinguistic features, such as emphasis, inflection, pitch, and noncontent sounds -- are often classified with nonverbal ones in the study of interpersonal interaction, because they have similar regulating functions aside from the traditional verbal content. Other features of verbal interaction, such as frequency and length of utterance, turn-taking patterns, interrupting, and allowing interruption, also help to regulate interaction and to establish dominance.
Sheer verbalization itself can be a form of dominance, rendering someone quite literally speechless by preventing that person from "getting a word in edgewise." Contrary to popular myth, men talk more than women, in both single-sex and mixed-sex groups. Within a group, a major means of asserting dominance is to interrupt. Those who want to dominate others interrupt more; those speaking will not permit themselves to be interrupted by their inferiors, but they will give way to those they consider their superiors.33 It is not surprising, therefore, that Zimmerman and West found, in a sample of eleven natural conversations between women and men, that forty-six of the forty-eight interruptions were by males; other research on interruption consistently finds men interrupting more than women.34
In verbal communication, we find a pattern of differences between the sexes similar to that seen in nonverbal communication. It was observed earlier in this article that men have the privilege of swearing and hence have access to a vocabulary not customarily available to women. On the surface, this seems to be an innocuous limitation, but it is significant because of the psychological function of swearing: Swearing is one of the most harmless and effective ways of expressing anger. The common alternatives are to express one's feelings with physical violence or to suppress them and by so doing turn the anger in on oneself. The former is prohibited to both sexes (to different degrees), but the latter is decidedly encouraged in women.
Swearing is perhaps the most obvious sex difference in language usage. Of course, sex differences are also to be found in phonological, semantic, and grammatical aspects of language as well as in word use.35 Austin, for example, has commented that "in our culture little boys tend to be nasal . . . and little girls, oral," but that in the "final stages" of courtship the voices of both men and women are low and nasal.36 The pattern cited by Brown,37 in which the form appropriately used by status superiors is used between status equals in intimate situations, is again visible: In the intimate situation, the female adopts the vocal style of the male. In situations in which intimacy is not a possible interpretation, it is not power but abnormality that is the usual interpretation. Female voices are expected to be soft and quiet -- even when men are using loud voices. Women who do not fit this stereotype are often called loud -- a word commonly applied derogatorily to other minority groups or out-groups.38 One of the most popular derogatory terms for women is shrill, which, after all, simply means loud (applied to an out-group) and high-pitched (female).


Henley and LaFrance suggest that the nonverbal asymmetry of male and female is paralleled by the asymmetry of racial/ethnic/cultural dominance.39 In any situation in which one group is seen as inferior to another, they predict, that group will be more submissive, more readable (nonverbally expressive), more sensitive (accurate in decoding another's nonverbal expressions), and more accommodating (adapting to another's nonverbal behaviors). How true this is for racially and ethnically oppressed groups remains to be shown; in this review, however, we have seen that these characteristics are among the nonverbal behaviors of females. Recent research by Snodgrass supports the contention that decoding sensitivity is associated with dominance and authority, rather than with gender per se.40
Other verbal characteristics of persons in inferior status positions are the tendencies to hesitate and apologize, often offered as submissive gestures in the face of threats or potential threats. If staring directly, pointing, and touching can be subtle nonverbal threats, the corresponding gestures of submission seem to be lowering the eyes from another's gaze, falling silent (or not beginning to speak at all) when interrupted or pointed at, and cuddling to the touch. Many of these nonverbal gestures of submission are very familiar. They are the traits our society assigns as desirable characteristics of females. Girls who have properly learned to be "feminine" have learned to lower their eyes, to remain silent, to back down, and to cuddle at the appropriate times. There is even a word for this syndrome that is applied only to females: coy.


Sexual interaction is expressed through nonverbal communication: the caress, the gaze, coming close to each other, the warm smile, smelling the other, provocative postures and inviting gestures; much sexual contact, unlike other forms of human interaction, is purely nonverbal. Sexual interaction, like all interaction, is conditioned by the social context in which it takes place. One particularly compelling aspect of that social context is that males have more power, prestige, and status than do females, a fact that cannot but affect heterosexual interaction. If even casual relationships between females and males are caught up in the social system in which males wield power over females, how much more does this power system affect the sexual relationship, which we consider the ultimate intimacy? In addition, in both heterosexual and homosexual interactions, relationships are affected by other power and status dimensions, such as work status, wealth, race, age, and interpersonal dominance. This power too is often expressed nonverbally.
Unfortunately, little has been written on nonverbal behavior, power, and sexuality examined simultaneously. However, the research and ideas presented earlier in this article may be applied to the sexual sphere. First, much can be said about a sexual relationship after observing the mutuality or nonmutuality of various gestures. For example, we may already believe that the person who is more dominant in the relationship is the one who takes a superior position in intercourse, the one around whose pleasure sexual activity is structured, and the one upon whose climax it is terminated. Beyond that, when gestures are not mutual (or not balanced over time), one person may dominate by initiating touching, hand-holding, and kissing; maintaining gaze; putting an arm around the other's back when sitting; initiating moves to greater intimacy in the course of a relationship or a single encounter; exerting more influence over the couple's spacing, postures, and walking pace; getting to hold hands with the preferred or dominant hand; having the hand in front when walking holding hands; and terminating as well as initiating hand-holding and kissing. Subordination may be expressed by the person who shows more emotional expressivity, shows more facial and kinesic activity, is more self-disclosing, accommodates timing and action to the other, and exhibits the reciprocal behaviors of those described as dominant.
These questions of who touches, who initiates, and who terminates apply, of course, to both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. However, in the heterosexual relationship, we often have a good idea of what the answers will be; in fact, heterosexual custom has prescribed male leadership and dominance. But these are changing times, and many think that few aspects of our society are changing faster than are sexual relationships and female-male interactions. Many people today do not wish to have unequal sexual relationships or to express sexual inequality unconsciously. However, since we generally take body language for granted and do not attend to it much, it may be hard to change: nonverbal expressions may lag behind changes in attitudes, values, and ideas. Slowness in changing this communication may keep us trapped in old modes of expression and old modes of relationship. No matter how egalitarian we may believe our relationships or sexual interactions to be, they will have an edge of inequality and imbalance until we bring our nonverbal expressions into line with our verbal ones.


Status differences between the sexes mean that many of the same traits and actions are interpreted differently when displayed by each sex. A man's behavior toward a woman might be interpreted as an expression of either power or intimacy, depending on the situation. When the same behavior is engaged in by a woman and directed toward a man, it is more likely to be interpreted as a gesture of intimacy -- and intimacy between the sexes is typically seen as sexual in nature. Recent research confirms that, when women display dominance gestures to men, they are rated higher on sexuality and lower in dominance than men are rated when making the same gestures to women.41 Because our society's values say that women should not have power over men, women's nonverbal communication is rarely interpreted as an expression of power. If the situation precludes a sexual interpretation, women's assumption of the male prerogative may be dismissed as deviant (castrating, domineering, unfeminine, or the like). Women in supervisory positions thus often have a difficult time asserting their power nonverbally -- gestures that are socially recognized as expressions of power when used by male supervisors may be denied or misinterpreted when used by women.


Knowledge of the significance of nonverbal communication can help us to understand not only others' gestures but also our own, giving us a basis for social and personal change. However, just because certain gestures associated with males are responded to as powerful, women need not automatically adopt them. Rather than accepting "masculine" values without question, individual women will want to consider what they wish to express and how, and they will determine whether to adopt particular gestures or to insist that their own be responded to appropriately. There has been growing pressure on women to alter their verbal and nonverbal behavior42 to the words and movements of "power" -- i.e., to those associated with men -- often with little thought of the implications. It would be mistaken to assume that such gestures are automatically better and that it is only women who should change. Revealing emotions rather than remaining wooden-faced and unexpressive, for example, may be seen as weak when only one person in an interaction is doing it; but, in the long run, openness and expressivity -- by all people -- may be better for the individual, the interpersonal relationship, and the society. Women who wish to change their nonverbal behavior can monitor it in various situations to determine when it contradicts their intention or is otherwise a disservice, and only then change. They will wish to keep those behaviors that give them strength, whether those behaviors are traditionally associated with women or with men.

(c) 1995 by Nancy Henley and Jo Freeman



1 Michael Argyle, Veronica Salter, Hilary Nicholson, Marilyn Williams, and Philip Burgess, "The Communication of Interior and Superior Attitudes by Verbal and Non-Verbal Signals," British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 9 (1970), 222- 31.

2 Robert Rosenthal, Judith A. Hall, M. Robin DiMatteo, Peter L. Rogers, and Dane Archer, Sensitivity to Nonverbal Communication: The PONS Test, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979); Judith Hall, Nonverbal Sex Differences: Communication Accuracy and Expressive Style, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984).

3 Erving Goffman, Gender Advertisements, (New York: Harper and Row, 1979).

4 The term power is used here to mean social power, the ability to influence the behavior of others based on access to and control of resources; status refers to acknowledged prestige rankings within the social group; dominance is used to refer to a psychological tendency (desire to dominate) and immediate pairwise influence (rather than general social value or influence).

5 Erving Goffman, "The Nature of Deference and Demeanor," American Anthropologist, 58 (1956), 473- 502; reprinted in Erving Goffman, Interaction Ritual, (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor, 1967).

6 Several studies are described in Roger Brown, Social Psychology, (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1965), 51-100.

7 For discussion of these rules vis-à-vis women and men, see Sally McConnell-Ginet, "Address Forms in Sexual Politics," in Douglas Butturff and Edmund L. Epstein (eds.), Women's Language and Style, (Akron, Ohio: University of Akron Press, 1978), 23-35.

8 Nancy M Henley, Body Politics: Power, Sex, and Nonverbal Communication, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1977).

9 Marianne Wex, Let's Take Back Our Space: "Female" and "Male" Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures (Hamburg: Frauenliteraturverlag Hermine Fees, 1979).

10 See also Susan J. Frances, "Sex Differences in Nonverbal Behavior," Sex Roles, 5 (1979), 519-35; Irene H. Frieze and Sheila J. Ramsey, "Nonverbal Maintenance of Traditional Sex Roles," Journal of Social Issues, 32, no. 3 (1976), 133-41; Marianne LaFrance and Clara Mayo, "A Review of Nonverbal Behaviors of Women and Men," Western Journal of Speech Communication, 43 (1979), 96- 107; Clara Mayo and Nancy M. Henley (eds.), Gender and Nonverbal Behavior (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1981); Shirley Weitz, "Sex Differences in Nonverbal Communication," Sex Roles, 2 (1976), 175-84.

11 William L. O'Neill, Everyone Was Brave: The Rise and Fall of Feminism, (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1969), 270.

12 Judith A. Hall, Nonverbal Sex Differences, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), 53.

13 Paul D. Cherulnik, "Sex Differences in the Expression of Emotion in a Structured Social Encounter," Sex Roles, 5 (1979), 413-24.

14 Eugenia P. Gerdes, John D. Gehling, and Jeffrey N. Rapp, "The Effects of Sex and Sex-Role Concept on Self-Disclosure," Sex Roles, 7 (1981), 989-98.

15 Valerian J. Derlega, Bonnie Durham, Barbara Gockel, and David Sholis, "Sex Differences in Self-Disclosure: Effects of Topic Content, Friendship, and Partner's Sex," Sex Roles, 7 (1981), 433- 47.

16 For example, see Dan I. Slobin, Stephen H. Miller, and Lyman W. Porter, "Forms of Address and Social Relations in a Business Organization," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8 (1968), 289-93.

17 Edward Alsworth Ross, Principles of Sociology, (New York: Century, 1921), 136. Willard W. Waller and Rubin Hill, The Family: A Dynamic Interpretation, (New York: Dryden, 1951), 191.

18 Robert Sommer, Personal Space, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969), Chapter 2.

19 For example, see Frieze and Ramsey, "Nonverbal Maintenance of Traditional Sex Roles"; Henley, Body Politics, Chapter 2; Nancy M. Henley and Marianne LaFrance, "Gender as Culture: Difference and Dominance in Nonverbal Behavior," in Aaron Wolfgang (ed.), Nonverbal Behavior: Perspectives, Applications, Intercultural Insights, (Lewiston, N.Y.: C. J. Hogrefe, 1984), 351-71.

20 Henley, Body Politics, Chapter 3.

21 Henley, Body Politics, Chapter 7. See also Brenda Major, Anne Marie Schmidlin, and Lynne Williams, "Gender Patterns in Social Touch: The Impact of Setting and Age," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58 (1990), 634-43.

22 Hall, Nonverbal Sex Differences, 117.

23 Diana L. Summerhayes and Robert W. Suchner, "Power Implications of Touch in Male-Female Relationships," Sex Roles, 4 (1978), 103-10. Brenda Major and Richard Heslin, "Perceptions of Cross-Sex and Same-Sex Nonreciprocal Touch: It is Better to Give than to Receive," Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 6 (1982), 148-62. Nancy M. Henley and Sean Harmon, "The Nonverbal Semantics of Power and Gender," in Steve L. Ellyson and John F. Dovidio (eds.), Power, Dominance and Nonverbal Behavior, (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1985), 151-64. Michael A. Goldberg and Barry Katz, "The Effect of Nonreciprocated and Reciprocated Touch on Power/Dominance Perception," Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 5 (1990), 379-86.

24 Richard J. Borden and Gorden M. Homleid, "Handedness and Lateral Positioning in Heterosexual Couples: Are Men Still Strongarming Women?" Sex Roles, 4 (1978), 67-73.

25 Henley, Body Politics, Chapter 11.

26 Both Henley, Body Politics, Chapter 9, and Judith A Hall and Amy G. Halberstadt, "Smiling and Gazing," in Janet S. Hyde and Mark C. Linn (eds.) The Psychology of Gender: Advances Through Meta-Analysis, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), have reviewed this research, though they arrive at different conclusions. See also John F. Dovidio and Steve L. Ellyson, "Patterns of Visual Dominance Behavior in Humans," in Steve L. Ellyson and John F. Dovidio (eds.), Power, Dominance and Nonverbal Behavior, (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1985), 129-49.

27 Ralph Exline, David Gray, and Dorothy Schuette, "Visual Behavior in a Dyad as Affected by Interview Control and Sex of Respondent," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1 (1965), 201-9; quotation 207.

28 Zick Rubin, "Measurement of Romantic Love," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16 (1970), 265-73; quotation 272.

29 Jay S. Efran and Andrew Broughton, "Effect of Expectancies for Social Approval on Visual Behavior," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4 (1966), 103-7; quotation 103.

30 Dovidio and Ellyson, "Patterns of Visual Dominance Behavior," 129.

31 Henley, Body Politics, Chapter 9.

32 Dovidio and Ellyson, "Patterns of Visual Dominance Behavior." See also John F. Dovidio, Clifford E. Brown, Karen Heltman, Steve L. Ellyson, and Caroline F. Keating, "Power Displays between Women and Men in Discussion of Gender-Linked Tasks: A Multichannel Study," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55 (1988), 580-87; John F. Dovidio, Steve L. Ellyson, Caroline F. Keating, Karen Heltman, and Clifford E. Brown, "The Relationship of Social Power to Visual Displays of Dominance Between Men and Women," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54 (1988), 233-42.

33 Barbara Eakins and Gene Eakins, "Verbal Turn-taking and Exchanges in Faculty Dialogue," in Betty Lou Dubois and Isabel Crouch (eds.), Papers in Southwest English IV: Proceedings of the Conference on the Sociology of the Languages of American Women (San Antonio, Tex.: Trinity University Press, 1976), 53-62.

34 Don Zimmerman and Candace West, "Sex Roles, Interruptions and Silences in Conversation," in Barrie Thorne and Nancy Henley (eds.), Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance, (Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, 1975), 105-29. See also Candace West and Don Zimmerman, "Small Insults: A Study of Interruptions in Cross-Sex Conversations between Unacquainted Persons," in Barrie Thorne, Cheris Kramarae, and Nancy Henley (eds.), Language, Gender and Society, (Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, 1983), 102-17.

35 See, for example, M. R. Key, Male/Female Language, (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1975); see also Cheris Kramarae, Women and Men Speaking, (Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, 1981); Thorne, Kramarae, and Henley (eds.), Language, Gender and Society, Robin Lakoff, Language and Woman's Place, (New York: Harper and Row, 1975); Sally McConnell-Ginet, Ruth Borker, and Nelly Furman (eds.), Women and Language in Literature and Society, (New York: Praeger, 1980); and Barrie Thorne and Nancy Henley (eds.), Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance, (Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, 1975).

36 William M. Austin, "Some Social Aspects of Paralanguage," Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 11 (1965), 31-39; quotations, 34, 37.

37 Brown, Social Psychology.

38 Austin, "Some Social Aspects of Paralanguage," 38.

39 Nancy M. Henley and Marianne LaFrance, "Gender as Culture: Difference and Dominance in Nonverbal Behavior," in Aaron Wolfgang (ed.), Nonverbal Behavior: Perspectives, Applications, Intercultural Insights, (Lewiston, N.Y.: C. J. Hogrefe, 1984), 351-71.

40 Sara E. Snodgrass, "Women's Intuition: The Effect of Subordinate Role upon Interpersonal Sensitivity," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49 (1985), 146-55; Sara E. Snodgrass, "Further Perceptual Study," in Steve L. Ellyson and John F. Dovidio (eds.) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62 (1992)m 154-158.

41 Nancy M. Henley and Sean Harmon, "The Nonverbal Semantics of Power and Gender: A Perceptual Study," in Steve L. Ellyson and John F. Dovidio (eds.), Power, Dominance, and Nonverbal Behavior, (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1985), 151-64.

42 E.g.: Robin Lakoff, Language and Woman's Place, Lynn Z. Bloom, Karen Coburn, and Joan Pearlman, The New Assertive Women, (New York: Dell, 1976).