Posted by: u4492462 | October 22, 2009

Men and women talk

Is it true that, among female conversation, females like to talk for half an hour or more on just one topic? Do women like to talk about themselves and their feelings? Do women tend to aware of other’s turns and apologize for talking too much? In regard to males’ conversation, do men rarely talk about themselves? Do men like to dominate the conversation and compete among themselves to show their superiority for being a better-informed on current affairs like sports and politics?

What do you think about the claim above made by Jennifer Coates (1986)?



  1. First, can you really calculate a particular time (or length) to how much women talk? In a macro perspective? It’s just like placing the same stereotype on a topic of interest to a group of men. I think there are always exceptions to the research, on either gender. About apologising too much, I know for a fact at my former employment the women never apologised for talking too much – they enjoyed it!! Gender-based language is very difficult to analyse because I’m sure you will find that maybe it depends on the environment in which the conversation takes place. In the example above, say that the males in the conversation group do in fact know more about the topic of sports – perhaps they spend all their spare time looking into the topic, and can therefore discuss it more widely. Say that the only females present know a lot about, say poetry, and spend most of their spare time researching information on poetry (or other topics), and not on sport – in this situation they will certainly be disarmed in a conversation that has to do with sports. The females can certainly discuss the topic intuitively, but may not have enough background information to speak about it at great length, so they can for the majority of the time just listen and gain a greater perspective, perhaps if they get interested they may next time be able to contribute more. In this perspective I guess language gives you the power, armament for discussion, your weapon is your content or knowledge of the subject!

  2. I think it is true that women like to talk about themselves and their feelings. Based on my own experience, I tend to share my feelings with my female friends and we tend to be more open about it, or to my mother, or my female friends often talks bout their feeling with me and often we find that we feel better after sharing or talking about our feeling with our female friends. In contrast, men rarely talk about their feelings. They tend to keep it for themselves, and even if they have to talk about it they will talk to the person that they think is very close to them. I guess the reason is because they do not want other people to know about their personal matter or they do not want to seem ‘weak’ or probably it is not an interesting topic for male.
    About women and men’s attitude in turn taking, I agree that more women are more aware of this although I know that not few men are also aware of this. What I notice from my experience when I went to villages or when visiting schools in remote areas in Flores, in village where not many women work or have good education or more (or only) men who hold important position (such as village head or school principals) I notice that men tend to dominate conversation or tend not to be aware of turn taking, they even tend to neglect the women in conversation, and the women themselves also tend to be silent or if they talk they prefer talking with their peer group about topics such as household soap opera and rarely talking about serious topic like politics (I notice this mostly in social events like village prayer group or social gathering and even at school environment). In contrast, in big cities where both men and women are well educated, and especially in university environment, I notice that men are quite aware of turn taking. Men don’t always dominate discussion (although sometimes they do) and are often aware of the presence and appreciate the value or opinion of the female members of the group. In this case, I agree with the notion that men tend to do that because of their feeling of superiority, as the men in the village think that the women know nothing of the topic they are discussing or they know better than the women do so they do not give chance for the women to participate.
    But this is not always about gender. This is about individuals. People often dominate discussion because they think they know more than the other people in the group do or because they are too excited about the topic.
    About the notion that men tend to dominate conversation and compete among themselves to show their superiority for being better-informed, I guess this happens sometimes, but not only among males. There are many women who also tend to dominate conversation which can be a way to show their knowledge or because they are too enthusiastic and that they know more than other people.

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