Gender Differences in Communication

Gender Differences in Communication
Linguists have studied the controversial topic of gender differences in communication for quite some time. The relationship between gender and language has developed into a widespread debate in the field of sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics refers to “the study of language as influenced by social and cultural factors” (Merriam-Webster, 2014). Sociolinguists will argue both for and against the idea that gender directly influences verbal and nonverbal language. It is evident that biological, environmental, and social factors all influence the ways in which people communicate with one another. Gender has a significant influence on both verbal and nonverbal communication. Men and women tend to communicate differently as a result of different environmental factors and distinct societal expectations.
Gender differences exist in almost every aspect of life. Gender refers to “the behaviors and attitudes that a society considers proper for its males and females” (Henslin, 2014, p. 74) whereas a person’s sex refers to the biological factors that make them a male or a female. Individuals have an array of different societal expectations in regards to behaviors, communication, appearances, attitudes, and roles in society, but these expectations tend to be based on the general principle of whether the individual is male or female. Gender socialization is one of the first steps in training a person what is appropriate for his/her gender.
Parents assist gender socialization in children while they are growing up. Society has a definitive path for males and females to follow in terms of social norms. Typically, females are raised to be more passive and delicate when compared to males. Young girls are typicall...

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...g Seed. Retrieved on May 2, 2014 from Simon, M.D. (2013). The wage gap is the result of discrimination. Are Women Paid Fairly? Retrieved on May 2, 2014 from Sociolinguistics. (2014). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Retrieved on May 2, 2014 from
Talbot, M. M. (2010). Language and Gender (2nd ed., pp. 15, 23,). Malden, MA: Polity Press.

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