Male and Female Styles of Communication

All human beings, regardless of gender, posses a basic need for communication as a form of expression. Sex plays an important role in conversation. Over the years, the difference between women and men with respect to language and conversation has constituted a topic of intense discussion. Most literature materials touching on the issue focus on two primary theories. The first one is the dominance approach which posits that the distinguishing element between the two genders is the result of female subordination and corresponding male domination.

Women come off as a minority of suppressed individuals. The other focus is the difference approach, premised on the belief that women and women are elements of different cultures, so that linguistic and conversational differences are the result of dissimilar cultures (Stewart 2008). Rapport vs. Report According to Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor as well as writer of the book, “You Just Don’t Understand”, the driving force, or focus behind communication differs from women to men.

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For men, the focus lies in avoiding failure and achieving creation social standing.

Women on the other hand, aim at eschewing social isolation and achieving strong, meaningful personal connections with others. Men seem to have a need to report information as women desire rapport. Elucidating these aspects further, women look for intimacy in the conversations they hold in a bid to create the said connections. Contrast this with the situation where men want to offer information without creating any dependence on the other parties in a conversation. In addition to that, women have no desire to appear superior while men are at complete ease issuing commands.

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They make a beeline for the bottom-line issues, bypassing elements of consultation while their female counterparts seek consensus prior to arriving at any decisions (Stewart 2008). The point belying all these difference is that women’s style of conversation is geared at building relationships whether long or short, while the men’s variant shows expertise, solves problems and gives information. At this juncture, an example is important. On receiving sad news from men, women may sympathize by saying “I’m sorry”, or words to that effect.

Moreover, women would ordinarily draw closer as a mode of connection. Men, however may wonder whether the apology is necessary, seeing that there is no connection between the apologizer and the news received. This is a classic application of male rationality compared to women’s intuitiveness (Stewart 2008). Actual Conversation John Gray, marriage therapist and author of the book “Men Are From Mars, Women are from Venus”, the mode of conversation expresses the greatest differences between the sexes.

As per his observations, women use a far greater number of words to express their ideas and expresses their feelings better. Men on the other hand use far less words and communicate fewer feelings. It is for this reason that women employ conversation as tool to think problems through and a useful means to arriving at a logical, workable solution to the said problems. Their male counterparts would rather assess problems privately, voicing solutions as the element of conversation. This aspect offers an insight as to why men finish discussion on one topic prior to delving into the nest.

Women change topics at will, returning to specific topics later. Another glaring difference between the two sexes is the feedback loop. During conversations, women offer feedback with a high degree of tentativeness and tact, remaining sensitive the other party in the conservation. Men are blunt and direct when it comes to feedback, overlooking the intent that the other person takes it personally (Stewart 2008). Instances of this occur often, for instance when a man listens to a female colleague at work or his wife, thinking through their problems aloud.

He easily gets frustrated as the women in question veer off the topic severally, returning to it later. The man then realizes they really do not want a solution to the problems, but someone off whom to bounce ideas. Generally, women are wont to get hurt when they sense that the men are upset but will not express their true feelings (Stewart 2008). Expression Lilian Gland, who penned the book ‘He Says, She Says: Closing the Gap Between the Sexes’, identifies a specific brand of traits distinguishing styles of conversation between men and women.

Oftentimes, women talk about relationships as men express issues like their achievements and their travels. Another trait is the fact that women do not take verbal rejection well. This is also linked to the reality that women approach issues at an emotional angle while men look at things analytically. This is a manifestation of female intuition meeting male rationality. Moreover, women pay great attention to details during conversations. Men simply concentrate on the goals and objectives; they use direct statements, and go straight to the point.

With respect to kinesics, women are less expressive. The facial expressions and voice tones employed by men are far more expressive than those used by women (Stewart 2008). Conclusion From the discussion, it is clear to see that there are distinct differences in the two genders. These differences must be celebrated rather than attacked as they allow for stronger coexistence between men and women. There is a strong sense of justice and equality in modern day interaction, meaning that men and women are on an even keel. This renders the dominance and difference approaches less relevant today.

The mix of female and male styles of conversation gives society greater leverage with regard to problem solving. It also allows for personal growth and significant improvement in the quality of life.

Works Cited

  • Baalen, I. , “Male and female language: growing together? ” 2001, Accessed on 24th Feb 2009 from http://www. let. leidenuniv. nl/hsl_shl/van%20
  • Baalen. htm Stewart L. M. , “Male and Female Communication: Differences Worth Noting” 2008, Accessed on 24th Feb 2009 from https://www. achievesolutions. net/achievesolutions/en/nchealthchoice/Cont ent. do? contentId=10241
Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Cite this page

Male and Female Styles of Communication. (2016, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Male and Female Styles of Communication essay
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