Differences in Men’s and Women’s Speech May Be Partly Based on Social Factors.

Topics: Gender, Female, Male Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: January 5, 2013
Many works have been devoted to the differences in communication between people. It has been proved that such factors as the interlocutors’ education or the status of the relationship influence people’s utterances. Furthermore, linguists claim that also biological sex influences the choice of language people use to communicate with each other. In discourse on different ways of communication of males and females, linguists have resigned with the term “sex” replacing it by the “gender” which refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and the attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. For most academics gender communication focuses on the expressions used by one gender in the relationships and roles between people. First of all, men and women approach communication with a distinct set of rules and interpretations of talk. While men focus on status and independence, women in the same time focus on intimacy and connection and this difference might make communication between the sexes problematic. Deborah Tannen states that "communication between men and women can be like cross cultural communication, prey to a clash of conversational styles" (Tannen, 2001). In a similar manner to Tannen, John Gray (1992) presents theory that women use a lot of artistic words expressions like metaphors, comparisons or generalizations in their speech which men understand literally causing miscommunication between the sexes. He also states that men are more direct and straight in their speech. However he declares that in addition to a communication difference, there is a difference in thinking, feeling, perception, etc. Jennifer Coates (1986) wrote about her studies involving gender separated discussion groups. From her observations she noted that women reveal a lot about their private lives in their conversations, stick to one topic for a long time, let all speakers finish their sentences...
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