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What evidence is there that men and woman use verbal communication in different ways?

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Introduction

What evidence is there that men and woman use verbal communication in different ways? Everyone has different styles of communicating verbally with people. Many factors contribute to this, including where someone's from, how and where they're brought up, their educational background and their age. These all contribute to an individuals use and style of verbal communication. Another factor that I believe is more apparent is the gender of the individual. Of course, there are exceptions to most rules, however generally speaking males have different characteristics when it comes to communicating verbally compared to females. Their whole use of language is thought to differ from females in many ways. If a male used verbal communication in the same way as the average female, people might wonder if hes a homosexual or at least class him as being feminine. ...read more.

Middle

In research results by Zimmerman & West in 1975, males interrupted twenty-four times as much as females do in mixed sex conversations. 94% of interruptions were made by males. This big difference acts as an indicator of the differences between the sexes generally as well as verbally. While engaging in a conversation, woman tend to have a more supportive attitude to the conversation they're taking part in. They will ask more questions and show interest more than a male that is just as bored/interested. Females are more likely to give supportive feedback by nodding or verbally letting them know they're interested and listening (eg. 'Yes', 'I know', 'mm' 'right' 'I see'). This was backed up by research by Zimmerman & West. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although difference in attitudes between the genders can definitely be given for the difference in the topics from a males/females verbally, it might not be the reason or sole reason for the difference in the use of verbal communication, especially while in a conversation. Theorists have pointed out that it could be down to dominance. Although our society has become, and is becoming more gender equal, it's still a patriarchal society. Woman are still looked upon and are less powerful in our society than men, even though some people will debate the fact. It could be for this reason that woman are less assertive and less confident verbally and why males, as the dominant gender, are generally more assertive and more confident than females verbally. Communication Studies ...read more.

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