Gender Differences in Communication Essay

747 Words 3 Pages
Gender Differences in Communication

Every race, culture, civilization, and society on this planet shares two things in common: the presence of both the male and female sex, and the need to communicate between the two. "The subject of gender differences appears to have engaged peoples’ curiosity for as long as people have been writing down their thoughts, from as far back as the writing of the creation of Adam and Eve, to its current popular expression in books such as Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." The assertion that men and women communicate in different ways, about different things, and for different reasons seems to go un-argued and is accepted as true by a vast majority of Americans. It is the reason why we
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She studied ethnic groups, which speak the same language using different styles, and found that the effect of gender on communication is miniscule compared to the effect of culture and socialization. In her research, Tannen asserts that the basic uses of conversation by women are to establish and support intimacy; while for men it is to acquire status. These styles and motives for communicating represent different cultural upbringings, and one is not necessarily better than the other. However, she also notes in her findings that men tend to interrupt more and ask questions less. In fact, the female tendency to ask more questions sometimes results in receiving lower grades from male professors who view frequent questioning as proof that a student knows less than her male counter parts. The theory that differences are fabricated early in a child’s life and are not biological doesn’t account for everything. David Cohen, in his article regarding Tannen’s findings points out a mystery in the connections she made. "Since women are primarily responsible for child-rearing and therefore disproportionately responsible for teaching the species to speak, when is it that boys learn to speak in the male style?" From a very early age, males and females are taught different linguistic practices. For example, communicative behaviors that are considered acceptable for boys may be considered completely inappropriate for girls.
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