June 16, 2011
Cross-Gender Communication as a Form of Intercultural Communication In our daily life we face male/female differences. We can hear almost every day a questions like: Do men and women speak the same language? Why doesn't he/she listen when I talk? He/she is like from another planet, isn't he/she? Men and women communicate and behave differently. Many factors like stereotypes and cultural backgrounds are included in creation of differences in gender communication. Good communication skills are hard to achieve; communication gaps are the biggest problem in misunderstanding the message. "Good and effective communication can therefore be affected by many things including the situation, time, culture, and gender. Gender differences in communication may pose problems in interpersonal interactions leading to intolerance, resentment, stress and decreased productivity" (Reman 1). So, the assertion that women and men communicate differently is mostly created by socio-cultural environment and behavior. These differences can be seen through the way we raise our children from the earliest age, through verbal and non-verbal communication styles they develop later as adults, and finally it can be seen through the numbers of conducted studies that confirm that differences do exist. From the youngest age of our lives the gender differences start to appear in the way we are taught to communicate. Therefore, we learn appropriate behaviors and roles from the members of same sex, and we learn the consequences for disobedience from the same models as well. Peter Harley presents in his book "Interpersonal Communication" the idea that show us how gender differences in communication can develop. The study started with the observation of boys and girls spend their time in play in a single sex groups. The study findings show that girls will cooperate and share power, while the boys' group is a hierarchy where issues of status and identity...