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In this contribution we examine large speech corpora of prepared broadcast and spontaneous telephone speech in American English and in French. Starting with the question whether ASR systems behave differently on male and female speech, we then try to find evidence on acoustic-phonetic, lexical and idiomatic levels to explain the observed differences. Recognition results have been analysed on 3-7h of speech in each language and speech type condition (totaling 20 hours). Results consistently showdoi:10.21437/interspeech.2005-699 fatcat:vh5jy7hugjbdji4nrstwqcpzjm