Male/Female Language

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Differences in male and female language

Language has many different aspects and has been researched for a long time. In the past few

decades, research has abounded in the differences in use of language by men and women. There

are a lot of questions about male and female language differences in which many linguists are

interested. For example, how does our gender affect communication patterns? When we speak to

someone, does the way we speak depend on the listener’s gender? Are we treated differently

because we are male or female? Much research has been conducted on the different ways that

men and women use language to communicate.

According to Dr. Adelaide Haas (1979:45) of the State University of New York, who observed

general differences between male and female linguistic style and content in 1979, men use more

directive language and nonstandard English while women tend to be more polite and supportive

in their language. She also noticed that men prefer to talk about sports, business and money;

women prefer to discuss family and home.

Another researcher of male and female language, Irene Baalen (2001), published a thesis that

men and women have come much closer in their uses of language in the past few decades. Men

have become more modern in their thinking while women still hold more traditional views. I.

Baalen proposed a “difference theory” which says that what people talk about may be different

between men and women, but that one is not superior to the other.

There is one more research which has made Lynette Hirschman (1994:112) in 1976. She

presented a much cited speech presenting an experiment analyzing conversational behavior in

men and women. Lynette’s research team noticed that females use more first person pronouns

while males use more third person pronouns. Moreover, women speaking together tended to be

more fluent in their speech patterns than men together or men and...
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