Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 9, June 2005

Ruba Fahmi Bataineh and Rula Fahmi Bataineh

American University Students’ Apology Strategies: An Intercultural Analysis of the Effect of Gender


This study aims at investigating potential gender effects in American university students’ use of apologies within the framework of the two-culture theory which claims that men and women are so different that they comprise strikingly different cultures. The researchers used a 10-item questionnaire based on Sugimoto’s (1997). The findings revealed that male and female respondents used the primary apology strategies of statement of remorse, accounts, compensation, and reparation. They also resorted to the use of non-apology strategies such as blaming victim and brushing off the incident as not important to exonerate themselves from blame. The findings further revealed that male and female respondents used the same primary strategies but in different frequencies. In addition, female respondents used fewer non-apology strategies than their male counterparts and more manifestations of the statement of remorse. Both similarities to and differences from Sugimoto’s findings were detected.

Key Words: apologies, apology streategies, the two-culture theory, gender

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