Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Dianne McKillop

Second Advisor

Professor Alfred Allan


The construct of apology has recently received more attention by researchers (Allan, 2007) and several factors that may influence apologetic responses have been identified. The gender of an offender is one such factor. A review was undertaken to examine the literature pertaining to the influence of the gender of an offender on apologies. As a result of the review, several themes were identified. These included gender differences and similarities in the frequency of apologies, the quantity and complexity of components, and the actual content of those components. Furthermore, contextual factors that may play a role in the influence of gender emerged as a theme, such as the status of the recipient of the apology, the type and closeness of the relationship, and the degree of face threat to the offender. Together with methodological considerations, these contextual factors were seen to partially account for the mixed findings pertaining to gender differences in the literature. Specifically, the methods employed in the research so far have been limited to certain situations and to hypothetical responses which may impact on the influence of gender on apologies. Recommendations were made for future research to explore the influence of gender on apologies for more severe offences in intimate relationships. Such information would perhaps be more beneficial to clinicians.