4.3.1.1 The distribution of the floor in mixed-sex groups

Groups I, III, and VI were mixed. The pattern which the literature suggests is most likely to occur in the context of mixed-sex group discussion is that in general the boys dominate the floor. This did not emerge from my data. In Group I, the three girls, G1, G2, and G3 all spoke considerably more than the two boys, B1 and B2, one of whom (B2) did not speak once during the discussion. In Group III, two of the boys (B6 and B7) spoke very little, while one boy (B5) spoke considerably more than any other group member. The only girl in the group (G4) spoke less than the most vocal boy, but still considerably more than either of the other two boys. She was the chair of the discussion, which may have been a factor affecting her contribution rate positively. Group VI consisted of two girls (G11 and G12) and two boys (B8 and B9). Although G12 spoke least in the group, G11 spoke far more than either of the two boys.

Thus no pattern emerged from this data to suggest that gender was a significant factor in determining floor distribution in these mixed-sex groups.


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