Posted by: u4499075 | August 25, 2009

women’s language men’s language

Are certain words more acceptable for men than for women? By who? Do we use language equally? In Australian culture? In your own culture?

Is there such a thing as “women’s language” and “men’s language”, in your opinion? Or have the lines been blurred, especially more recently?

Is swearing still mainly a male activity? Was it ever just a male activity? And when women swear, are they trying to just imitate males or is there another reason for swearing?



  1. I am sure that among “educated” or “upper class” women there have been many periods of history where swearing was not acceptable.

    This seems to be less so today, but it is a relatively recent change.

    I was chatting to a fellow student last week and she told a story about someone swearing, and she said that this person said “What the F…” (not the full word, just the letter). I asked her if that was exactly what was said, and she said no, the whole word had been said.

    I then asked why she chose to only say the letter and not the word – was it shyness, or respect for me (I am a lot older than her) or something else?

    Her reply was that it was that she had been taught not to swear openly, and that it had nothing to do with me.

    I expect that men would usually have no difficulty in using the whole word.

    While I think there are many other ways in which women and men differ in speech, many times this is because of different interests or topics of conversation, and not directly as a result of the gender difference.

  2. In my opinion, it is true that there are some difference between the language used by men and women. I also agree with Tim that difference in interest or topic of conversation or discussion is also one of the causes of the language difference. However, we cannot generalize that women talks this way and men talks this way because each individual is different. There many factor apart from gender that shape or form the way each individual behave including the way the individual talks.

  3. In my opinion, the use of swear words is related to identity. men swear might because they want to show their masculinity.
    By using accomodation theory, men swear might because they want to converge to thier male identity. And for women swear, I think there are not trying to imitate males but to diverge from their femininity, which is negatively evaluated in the society.

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