Issue of gender differences

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The issue of gender differences has intrigued persons for as long as we have been writing, from as far back as the writings of the creation of life, Adam and Eve (Bible), to its more recent expression in such books like 'Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus' (Gray, 1992). In the book the author expresses the notion that our hopes for the opposite sex to be more like our own leading to anger and disappointment, as does the fact that some speak other languages. The issue is even looked at in an article for children (Monroe, 1995), which describes differences in the mind, hormones, and socialization, which contribute to perceived differences in thought processes and behavior all of which we had discussed in my interpersonal relations group with Denise Amrhein-Sprunk (2009). Also, 'history has shown us that legal personhood does not necessarily result in equal treatment' (Mulvaney, 1994).

Gender Differences in Communication

Deborah Tannen, a spokeswoman for differences in gender styles toward those experienced by different ethnic groups that convey the same language using differing styles coming from cross-cultural influences. Tannen also would avoid using gender as a final reason for behavior, since it is socialization that is the beginning of the patterns which learning is shown in our conversations (Tannen, 1990). Tannen talks about the primary uses of conversation by women is to develop and maintain relationships, for men it is to determine standings. These styles are a indication of cultural differences, and one is not essentially better than the other. On the other hand, she also enplanes in her findings that males tend to interrupt more and their opposed to asking questions. In fact, a females' tendency to provide more questions known to affect her in getting lower grades from male teachers who saw her frequent questioning as evidence that she 'knew' less than other classmates in a male dominated group. These kinds of communication differences may lead to misinterpretation and frustrations between the sexes. In David Cohen (1991) article he talks about Tannen's beliefs, and points out one key in this connection, since women are primarily responsible for raising and disproportionately responsible for teaching our children to speak.

Two types of dialect differences examined for which men seem as if they are strongly predisposed, these include the use of expletives and aggressive predispositions. De Klerk (1991) examined the relationship between social competence and expletive form, which it is considered a high-intensity language whose usage is changing cross-culturally. Their use in Western cultures is associated with masculinity and power. In a review of adolescent boys and girls, De Klerk found some support for the hypothesis that gender is relevant to expletive use. It is slightly higher in boys than girls, but that it is only one of various aspects related to social class and including social status and age, which can affect usage. The females' results noted to be higher than the researcher had predicted.

Some other researchers have looked to compare not only differences in predispositions for foul language and argumentativeness, but peoples' expectations for their differences. Nicotera and Rancer (1994) found hostile communication tendencies, which include verbal assertiveness and argumentativeness, are both expected by men and women to be higher in men than women. The consequences of these perceptions needed in that not only do they influence men for behaviors in expressions of socialization, but the behaviors tend to identify those who demonstrate the behaviors in a more plausible reputation in circumstances which include organizational hierarchies. This contributes to male dominance in the corporate world. This may be a predispositional standing in situations concerning domestic violence, as verbal aggression can serve as a trigger for physical violence. The findings could have penalties in applied research for improving marriage as well as for strengthening women, in particular, for success in bureaucratic systems.

Whelan and Verdi (1992) evidence which seems to contradict previous results for gendered communication styles in groups, earlier studies have found support for stereotypical patterns in which women tended toward Sorci-emotional communications and men toward task-oriented patterns, the researchers found these styles of interacting break down after about the first 30 minutes of group interface. After that time, there tended to be no patterns associated with gender differences. The authors suggest that this variability possibly accounted for by participants and anxiety during early group formation had been managed by performance based on the social role expectations.

Research in content study of conversational topics shared by men and women was first studied by Harry Moore in 1922. His research had reviewed and compared to studies done in 1990 by Bischoping (1993). Moore concluded that in same sex conversations, females tended to talk about the opposite sex or clothes; males discussed money, work, or amusements. Bischoping found that females conversations about work and money have shown some increasing trend and that, more importantly, overall gender differences has declined in intervening years, reflecting on changes in researchers' beliefs and attitudes about gender differences. Moore felt that women's "original nature" has and would continue to be reflected, as well their choices of men and appearances are also favored conversation topics. Bischoping's (1993) 1990 study found that the percentage of female conversations regarding employment and wages rose from 3.7% in 1922 to 37.5% in 1990 it became the most frequent topic for both sexes, the second issue for both men and women is leisurely activities. The least favorite for both is appearances, according to the categories studied. The implementation of this apparent change should provide a warning label to educators and parents.

The trust the sexes call for on their abilities in three forms of communicative tasks was the issue for a study by Clark (1993). These tasks included persuading, comforting, and justification. Since a person's perception of self-efficiency for a task is necessary to actual performance, the importance of the findings in this section could prove pivotal for strengthening perceived weaknesses for men and women in one of these abilities. Clark stated that some difference did occur in expectations for success in the areas studied. Men predictable more success than they achieved in the extent of justification. Women are more likely to succeed in the comforting of others, and getting more successful results than men did. Significantly, women's performances rated higher than men in all areas measured, leading to the conclusion that females are often seen as more proficient in communicative tasks, which are supposed as interpersonal. In only one area were males are seen as more efficient than females: persuasive tasks involving men persuading females, not unlike a traditional dating or similar male/female interpersonal environment. There was the assumption that each sex was rated higher in ability by their own gender than by the other. Overall stereotyped ratings of expertise were mirrored by performance, which would seem to lend authority to the effects of nurturing, or expectations, upon ability Marche and Peterson found this attribute to be unjustified. Back channeling communications are small verbal cues such as repeating of the speakers' words and sentence completions, words like "mm-hmm" and "right", which illustrate the listener is still paying attention to a conversation. Stereotypical expectations for back channel, or listener response behaviors, have been accepted to favor females in terms of quantity and frequency, i.e. females are accepted as much better listeners than males (Marche and Peterson, 1993). This study challenged the assumption that women demand greater communicative upholding than men. The authors found that the amount of back channels in same-sex and mixed-sex discussions did not differ much, although women used more of certain types of comments. Men are no less understanding of women than women seem to be of men. Gender could not be expected to predict this behavior and stereotypes for the parts of conversation were unsupported.

In a study whose conclusions supported stereotyped expectations for nonverbal communicational behaviors, Briton and Hall (1995) wrote about their findings that women were expected by both men and other women to demonstrate greater skill at sending and receiving nonverbal messages. The researchers expected to achieve these differences since females have been observed to use effective nonverbal expressions, more than men, like laughing and smiling women were also found to be much better at interpreting facial expressions. Members of the study also rated males higher on expected use of dis-fluencies such as stammering and interjections of 'ums' and 'ahs' on interruptions, being nervous, touching themselves, and on speaking too loudly during conversations. The expectations of the sexes were found to be true for observed behaviors, with the females' expectations for other women's abilities being higher than are found to be, in this case. The authors examine the meaning of why these differences exist. It is unclear from these data whether the differences are attributable to existing gender characteristics or whether the result from our stereotypes about them.

In another matter, though the feminist point of view it is suggested that it is a male tendency toward defining relations as influence which has shown to deny legitimacy to and dehumanizing different styles of communication favored by women. Shepherd (1992) calls for development of a metaphysical interpretation of communication which would neither inconvenience women, who choose to use connections more for relational control who as children are discouraged from expressing their selves. From Aristotle and his description of rhetoric as persuasion, to the present and even recent past (Rapp, 2002), Shepherd points out; male dominance in science and philosophy has resulted in the portrayal of interactive processes as primarily expressing control, persuasion, and power. This served to discredit the feminine experience as well as to overturn the true level of the masculine nature. It is the superseding of our natural abilities and predispositions by the socializing effects of nurturing which seem to result in practical differences in communications, between sexes. The use of the findings of these examples in research is essential to everyone responsible for the raising and the teaching of children; for those involved in therapy where gender is in any way a concern; for those who are involved in managerial relations; and for anyone with a concern for understanding by others, or more notably, for understanding them. It appears gender differences in communication are commonly known to live at many levels. Researches' confirm the existence of their expectations. In some kinds of communication, these differences are shown to exist, and in others they are seen to be insignificant or just not there. Differences due to gender characteristics are, in fact, responsible for about 1% of the difference between men and women may reflect the difference in brain structure and hormone production. Observed differences in communication behaviors are probably due to acculturation and socialization. In our culture, males are discouraged from showing their feelings and they became less-capable than females in some types of interpersonal connections.