Hah! I KNEW it!

by Natalie P.

July 17, 2007 | Filed Under Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 3 Comments

“Women aren’t chattier than men after all, say psychologists who recorded 400 students of both genders over a seven-year period.”, so states the article, “Verbal Battle of the Sexes all hot air, study finds“, published on Friday, July 6th 2007 in the Ottawa Citizen.  I turns out that researchers form Texas A&M and Arizona State conducted the study and recently published their findings in the Journal Science. 

They set out to challenge what they now call a common “cultural myth” – that women supposedly speak about 20,000 words a day while mean speak, on average, only 7,000 words a day.  In fact, their study showed that there was slightly less than 600 words a day difference between the genders (statistically insignificant), with women at 16,215 and men at 15,669 per day.  The variation was within the individuals within each gender and by way of example they stated that one man in the study spoke as little as 500 words a day while the most talkative spoke as much as 47,000 words per day.

(The bf noted at this point, “I think I could get it under 100 on some days.” I responded with, “Are you counting grunts as ‘words’?”)

As an interesting side note, the Citizen reporter talked to Linda Duxbury, a Carleton University professor at the Sprott School of Business regarding her specialty, communication and gender:

“Women talking to women talk a lot more, ” Ms Duxbury said. But in a mixed setting,”women self-censor while men interrupt a lot.”

She says men see conversation as a competition. It’s an interesting observation, because in my experience I have found that when a woman interrupts, men get really bugged by it – more so than when another man interrupts.  It’s similar to the reaction we face when a woman is being assertive or even aggressive – there is still a strong cultural bias against women asserting their position or challenging men.

Never the less, the study was heartening, because, the bf aside, I have found men to be as chatty and conversational as women.  Just ask any woman who has gone on a date with the guy who won’t shut up about himself.  And gossip?!  There was one shop I knew of where the men who came in to “shoot the shit” were worse than any women I had known – completely invested in who was sleeping with whom, and who was having an affair, etc.  I don’t know where anyone got the idea that gossip is the sole domain of women.

Nope – guys talk just as much, or as little as women. Once again, the differences are not in the gender, but in the individual.

The bottom line from the study, “the widespread and highly publicized stereotype about female talkativeness and male reticence is unfounded.”

Unless, of course, they are looking at the bf.   

“unnmph.” 

“I have no idea what you want. Use your words.”

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3 comments so far
  1. Sarashay July 18, 2007 12:46 pm

    I am female and not particularly talkative, unless I have a few drinks in me, which is why that stereotype always made so little sense to me. (The woman=shopping stereotype is equally alien to me.)

    And one of the biggest gossips I knew was a man. I think I even described him as such to someone, who agreed with me heartily.

    People who argue for the ‘innateness’ of gender stereotypes rarely take into account the intense social stigma for stepping outside of those stereotypes.

  2. Kimberly July 18, 2007 9:52 pm

    Ha! I concur with this study and with your opinion on this! The men in my office not only chat more amongst themselves but also ABOUT EACH OTHER BEHIND THEIR BACKS! Now don’t get me wrong, the women do it too; however, the men tend to be far more vindictive and malicious then the women. And of course, they hate it when I interrupt or GOD FORBID have a better idea. I’m a programmer and I’m surrounded by that despicable “a woman couldn’t possibly have a better idea than a man” attitude. UGH! Yes, men are INDEED the “hens” in our office. I’m just glad that now there is PROOF.

  3. Casey July 17, 2009 6:23 pm

    Kimberly,
    I find it strange that you think there is “PROOF”. It may be the case that “men are the hens” of your office. In fact, I have no reason to doubt that.
    But if you think this study is “PROOF”, then you are just as sexist as people who think women gossip more then men.

    The study does NOT say that men talk or gossip more then women. It says they are statistically the same. So you do not have “PROOF”.


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