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Gender &

Conflict
During conflict, males and females

Males and females have been found


to communicate much differently. These
differences can lead to more problems
during conflict because they are on two
different pages the whole time regarding
what they want and what they are willing
to invest.

Males:

want to be in high power


have a goal of showing dominance
attempt to gain tangible outcomes
are more assertive
cherish their independence
withdraw when stressed
try to avoid talking about
interpersonal problems by thinking
of resolutions during conflict
want to find solutions to problems

Females:

are more social


focus on forming and maintaining
close bonds
use language that is more
articulate and courteous
reach out and want to talk when
stressed
want to be sympathized with and
recognized

have different patterns of confrontation.


Females tend to be logical while coming
from many different angles. They talk
less during the conflict and are more
easily interrupted, making them more
likely to be cut off when talking. Also,
men and women have been found to
have different leadership styles.

Even though there are many notable


differences between males and females,
they still have many similarities when
dealing with relationships. Both genders
want to experience less conflict and more
quality in their close friendships. They also
reported that the greater the difference is
between real and ideal friendships, the
lower the amounts of happiness and
relationship satisfaction are. Females and
males both have higher ideals for
friendships than they are receiving from
their current friends. Most people want
more positive friendships that will cause
less irritation and arguments.

Females:

are more participatory


are more collaborative
tend to seek input from multiple
group members
prefer to facilitate a consensusdriven decision-making style
lead in a democratic style

**A dominating leadership style places a


female at risk of being disliked**

Males are:

more autocratic and direct


prefer hierarchical positions
have a task-oriented style

**People like males regardless of


their warmth**

The above information is useful when


considering the different roles of males and
females during conflict. Research has
shown that the type of situation and gender
roles influence the outcome of the conflict.
During an intervention, females are
expected to act more masculine. This
makes them less successful at forming a
resolution. Instead, they should utilize their
sensitivity and empathy because these
emotions are highly valued during conflict.

There are a couple reasons why


Negotiation has been found to be

Males and females approach


and deal with negotiation
differently. For females, negotiation
is turned to as an alternative to
violence. Females use dialogue to
solve their conflicts. Previous
research on the female perspective
to conflict revealed that females tend
to believe that it is better to use
words than to fight. Additionally,
everyones desires should be heard
in order to prevent having a win-lose
situation. Their ultimate goal is to
preserve harmony, which could be a
reason that they utilize empathy
during conflict. During a
disagreement, females view their
interests as responsibilities and
commitments already made.
Furthermore, they are energized by
their connections which cause them
to blur the lines between themselves
and others (Kolba and Coolidge 264).
On the other hand, males goals
during conflict tend to focus on
individual achievements.

utilized in different types of situations with


different sorts of success. The females
voice in negotiation is the most powerful
in situations where trust, openness, and
long-term relationships are critical (Kolba
and Coolidge 271). Females have been
found to be more challenged by
negotiations. There are a few reasons for
this. Empathy might lead to exploitation
during a conflict. If a female is attempting
to protect herself, she might suppress her
expressions of empathy. Also, females
generally tend to avoid conflict; therefore,
if they are forced into it, they might feel
uncomfortable. Furthermore, aggressive
behaviors are viewed differently by males
and females due to the fact that they are
typically viewed as a masculine
behavior. For this reason, females might
try to suppress aggressive
behaviors. They also might feel
vulnerable approaching males or
authority with their concerns.

Females:

have higher quality relationships


in same gender best friends
desire more intimacy with friends
experience relationships that are
deeper, richer and more
supportive

the results of this experiment are


hard to compare to what happens in
real life. First off, these are done in a
laboratory setting, which takes away
from females being able to approach
an issue. Additionally, real
negotiations often result in females
not fare(ing) that well (Kolba and
Coolidge 263). Examples of this
occur when males receive more
during a divorce settlement or have
higher salaries than females. Even
though many of these conclusions
have been found using laboratory
experiments, the results are still quite
pertinent to the greater topic of how
different genders deal with conflict.

Sources
Benharda, Imen, Jeanne M. Brett, and
Alain Lempereur. "Gender and Role in
Conflict Management: Female and Male
Managers as Third Parties." Negotiation
and Conflict Management Research 6.2
(2013): 79-93. Web.
Demir, Melikah, and Haley Orthel.
"Friendship, RealIdeal Discrepancies,
and Well-Being: Gender Differences in
College Students." The Journal of
Psychology 145.3 (2011): 173-93. Web.
Kolba, Deborah M., and Gloria G.
Coolidge. "Her Place at the Table: A
Consideration of Gender Issues in
Negotiation." UCLA. N.p., 1988. 261277. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Merchant, Karima, "How Men And Women
Differ: Gender Differences in
Communication Styles, Influence
Tactics, and Leadership Styles" (2012).
CMC Senior Theses. Paper 513.