Washington, Sept 19: Women speak less when they are outnumbered, as compared to their male counterparts, a study has revealed.
Scholars at Brigham Young University and Princeton examined whether women speak less than men when a group collaborates to solve a problem.
In most groups that they studied, the time that women spoke was significantly less than their proportional representation - amounting to less than 75 percent of the time that men spoke.
"Women have something unique and important to add to the group, and that's being lost at least under some circumstances," Chris Karpowitz, the lead study author and a political scientist at BYU, said.
However, there is an exception to this rule of gender participation.
The time inequality disappeared when researchers instructed participants to decide by a unanimous vote instead of majority rule.
Results showed that the consensus-building approach was particularly empowering for women who were outnumbered by men in their group.
The study is published by the top academic journal in political science, American Political Science Review. (ANI)