Asymmetrical Conversations Between Men and Women

Topics: Conversation, Female, Gender Pages: 4 (1658 words) Published: November 19, 2011
Conversation is a normal part of every day life. People converse everywhere they go; whether they are with their friends’, at school or even while at the store, a conversation is bound to ignite. While communicating has its ups, it also has its downs; these ‘downs’ can happen especially when men and women are communicating because, according to Deborah Tannen, they have different communication styles. Tannen illustrates this in her video, He Said, She Said: Gender, Language, & Communication, where she talks about and gives many examples of how men and women differ in their conversational approaches. I definitely agree with Tannen in regards that conversation between the sexes is asymmetrical.

Tannen states in her lecture that boys and girls, starting very early on, communicate in very different ways. Girls tend to lean in towards each other and face each other, while boys, on the other hand, don’t find it necessary to look at or face each other. The boys look a lot more disengaged when that might not be the case. Tannen was involved in a video study where they videotaped best friends of different sexes conversing and the boys and girls acted just as predicted. It is very interesting to see these differing conversation styles occur over and over again throughout the study. But why does conversation differ so much between the boys and girls? Tannen explains that boys and girls growing up create relationships differently. Girls become best friends with each other mainly by conversing with one another. Typically, young girls will gossip and tell secrets with one another and this is where their relationships form. On the contrary, boys become best friends with each other through activity. They form their relationships by playing sports and being competitive with one another. These differences cause the divergence of styles between girls and boys.

Similarly to how relationships are formed differently between boys and girls, how they want to be represented also...
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