Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Difference Between Men and Women

Chapter 14 mentions some of the different ways that communication is hendered. One of the topics discussed is the difference between the way men and women communicate. Women tend to be focused on 'nuture' and men on 'nature'. In other words, women tend to be very sweet when talking to others and need to make sure that agreements are reached through consensus. They do not view this as a sign of being a weak leader, but a leader that takes the wellfare and interests of the people around her into consideration to make the best possible decision. Men tend to view any 'femine' tendancies as a sign of weakness. Thus the joke about men never being able to ask for directions actually has some truth to it. It's not that men cannot ask for directions or use some of the communication techniques women do to avoid conflict and create a positive environment, only that men are less likely to. In a group of all men, such tendancies are ok, but in mixed groups this can lead to conflict between men and women, who see the men as being insensitive and cause the men to view the women as 'weak' because they are not assertive as much as themselves. In order to find out more about these differences I read an article titled "A Language in Common" by Deborah Cameron.

According to her, "Women are the more verbal sex: they do more of the talking and are generally better with words. Typically they use language in a collaborative and supportive way: they are good at listening and creating rapport. Men are more competitive, good at arguing their corner and asserting themselves. They are also more direct communicators, who say what they mean, mean what they say, and are often confused by women’s less direct approach." There have been some research directed at finding the exact cause for this difference in communication, however there is no conclusive evidence supporting commonly held ideas like 'women talk more than men'. It is more likely that the difference is similar to a cultural difference in communication between two nationalities. It is just engrained and most are unaware of the differences, just that there is conflict sometimes when men and women communicate with eachother.

Cameron, Deborah. "A language in common." Psychologist 22.7 (2009): 578-580. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 Apr. 2010.

1 comment:

  1. This idea is very interesting. This helps to explain a lot about the differences in communication between men and women. It is true what you wrote in this post, I've noticed it first hand. However, this may not always be true and may only apply to a more general population of men and women.