Same-Sex and Cross-Sex on Facebook and in Text Messages
Studies on male and female written communication have previously been performed but all lack specific differences in conversations men and women have with the same and opposite genders. This study takes a close look at text samples from four individuals’ Facebook pages and text message conversations in order to bring these differences in written communication to light. The women’s conversations in this study did not differ in any substantial ways when they conversed with the men or other woman in this study. However, the males were more emotional when speaking to each other than with the females. Their topics with both genders in their conversations were very impersonal in contrast to the women’s sensitive communicative styles. Introduction & Review of Literature
In the past, studies have been conducted and research has been obtained on the communication styles of men and women. It has been said that women and men have very different communicative ethics in that they prefer different styles of communications and communicate for various reasons. Many key points have been discussed, agreed upon, and disagreed upon involving the topic of gender differences in written communication. The main ideas, but mostly claims and results, surrounding this topic are that men are more comfortable communicating verbally, while women prefer written communication, and that men are viewed as impersonal and unemotional, only communicating in order to gain status and respect, and display their knowledge and dominance, while women are emotional, personal, and use communication to seek understanding.
Men have been known to feel more comfortable communicating with others verbally rather than using mediums such as e-mails, text messaging, or online discussions. After researching communications styles in web-based classroom courses and face-to-face discussions, Anver Caspi concluded, “men dominated classroom discussions,” and conversations on the online course seemed to lack male interaction (719). Judith Boser found that men who participated in answering written survey questions had short responses and felt no need to respond to certain questions, compared to the long responses of women (12). During a study focusing on voice call and text message use of cellphones between males and females, men felt more comfortable making voice calls and when they chose to use text messages, the primary use was for speedy ways to communicate that focused on their professional business (Iqbal 514). Boser, Caspi, and Iqbal all agreed that verbal communication was the forte of the male population. But there has also been some contradicting research on this topic. In Singapore, the Internet is viewed as the path for success. Researcher Pauline Hope Cheong found because success is mainly linked through the Internet, men are more likely to communicate using the Internet through online messaging and e-mails, while women are far more restricted from using Internet communication mediums (221, 222).
Another main claim emphasized in the realm of gender differences in communication is that opposite of men, women are more comfortable utilizing written communication. According to Linda Jackson, in 1994, the percentage of women on the Internet gradually increased from 5% to 40% (364). In Caspi’s research, he found that women avoided classroom participation and regularly posted comments on online discussions in order to voice their ideas and opinions (718). Iqbal concluded, “women have more attachment to text messages than men do,” using it more frequently and enthusiastically (514). In her paper discussing how young women utilize text messaging, Huatong Sun’s participant says, “text messaging is my language” and considers mobile text messaging no longer a business, but a “wireless support network for young women” (Sun). In previous research,...