Lecturing and Listening

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Conversation Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: October 5, 2007
Have you ever noticed the way men and women converse with each other? Is there a difference with how they communicate verbally and non-verbally? Studies and experiments by linguist have30 shown that differences in speech and body language are apparent between the male and female gender. First, men impose and lecture their side of the story when conversating while women on the other hand have a more open exchange of ideas. Second, men do not show any body signals indicating that they are listening but women on the other hand give signs that show their affirmation or opposal. Third, men generally dominate the conversation most of the time while women just listen passively.

As Deborah Tannen describes in her essay, "I'll Explain it to you: Lecturing and Listening", she states, " My experience is that if I mention the kind of work I do to women, they usually ask me about it. When I tell them about conversational style or gender differences, they offer their own experiences to support the patterns I describe. This is very pleasant for me. It puts me at center stage without my having to grab the spotlight myself, and I frequently gather anecdotes I can use in the future. But when I announce my line of work to men, many give me a lecture on language- for example, about how people, especially teenagers, misuse language nowadays. Others challenge me, for example questioning me about my research methods. Many others change the subject to something they know more about". As a man I see this types of behavior all the time. At the café I work for, theres a rather attractive college educated woman who works as the coffee manager and everyday men in the local neighborhood come in to get coffee and talk to her. When she graduated with her master's degree in writing and had a hard time getting her foot at the door of her field, the men in the neighborhood interrupted her narration with suggestions and opinions of their own and would immediately overpower and steal the...
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