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How Gender Roles Affect Communication.

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How Gender Roles Affect Communication.

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  • July 1, 2003
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Communication

Men and women communicate differently in almost every situation. These differences may be as simple as facial expressions, or as complex as the true emotions hiding behind them. Men and women communicate through opposite, but equally effective techniques that demonstrate the distinctive cultural values of the society they were raised in.

An easily observable difference at the dinner table occurs when constrasting the behavior of a boy with that of a girl. It would not be considered acceptable for the boy to burp, but if done, a few giggles would erupt from the others and a sharp reprimand would likely be given from a person of authority. This, of course, is a classic scenario and one that many have experienced in first person. It is a fine example of the bluntness and boldness of the modern American male. But, assume for an instant that it wasn't the boy that rudely, but comically, disturbed the formality of this setting, it was the girl! I imagine there would be a few open mouths and suprised stares. I doubt many would be laughing out loud except of course, for the boys. "Girls don't do that!" The reaction to the girl burping would be recieved in a different light and cultural values will quietly lead the parents to deliver a sharper reprimand to the girl. Gender roles play a silent but strong part in setting separate standards for girls and boys. A girl isn't supposed to burp at the table. She is supposed to be quiet, pleasant, happy, inviting, and pleasing to be with.

The rules that are adhered to do not occur naturally, but many come to be easily integrated into the roles of men and women. A woman should be inviting because a higher pitched voice is naturally a more aestheticelly pleasing tone than of the deeper voice of a male. Many women also tend to be more emotionally sensitive than their male counterparts, which may lead them to be a more humble, pleasing person. A secretary picks up the phone and greets the caller cheerfully, with...