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Chapter 7

Gender Chapter 7

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Glen Gorman

GENDER CHAPTER 7 COMMUNICATION - very big media topic, the discussion around how men and women communicate with each other has become almost a genre of books and journal articles itself - from the book “you just don’t understand: women and men in conversation” it was noted that men and women have completely different styles of conversation, different styles of nonverbal communication, and different styles of interacting with one another INTERACTION STYLES IN CHILDHOOD - there are certainly some difference in the ways girls and boys play and interact with one another - girls are more likely to play in dyads, while boys more likely to play in groups - both are equally likely to be playing with the same sex - this is the first socializing agent that leads to girls and boys having different interaction styles - preference for same sex play partners starts around 3 years old for girls, and about 1 year later for boys - this same sex preference peaks at ages 8 and 11, and also appears in a wide range of different cultures -a group of boys playing together is very exclusionary to the other sex, and see boys who play in the girl group as feminine - reasons why children prefer same-sex friend groups - boys and girls have different styles of play/communication - girls find it difficult to influence boys, makes interaction with them less desirable - there’s institutional support or same-sex play CHILDREN’S STYLES OF PLAY - boys play in large groups, usually rough mannered, competitive, with emphasized dominance - girls usually play with 1-2 others, its quiet, often conversational, and involves more structured activities - boys are more likely to play outdoors, very activity oriented, and takes up a great deal of space (the yard, the street) - their fantasy play is even different - girls – play house/school (someone plays role of teacher/parent) - boys - more likely to emulate heroic characters - communication styles - girls- serves to foster connection, express agreement, take turns when speaking, and acknowledge feelings (prosocial dominance) - boys- motivated to establish dominance, interrupt one another, threaten each other, refuse to comply, and try to top one another’s stories (egoistic dominance) - spreading rumors, excluding someone, and threatening not to be someone’s friend: examples of relational aggression ( also known as indirect and social aggression) ex. -giving someone the “silent treatment” -when mad, try to damage someone’s reputation by passing negative information - when mad, retaliates by excluding someone from activities - intentionally ignore someone until they agree to do something for you GIRLS’ DIFFICULTY IN INFLUENCING BOYS - Girls try to influence others with polite suggestions, but since boys are used to demands they tend to be unresponsive to polite requests. - girls spend more time closer to authority figures as well (i.e., teachers) - but they usually only hang around teachers in the presence of boys. Likely believed that an adult authority figure will temper boys dominant behaviour INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT - the different way girls and boys play, interact, and influence one another may be explain why they prefer to play with same sex peers but what is the course of the divergent play roles? - socialization hypothesis is one theory, children may model same sex play from parents. Aside from each other, mothers and fathers are typically friends with people of same sex - parents handle girls more gently, talk more about emotions with girls, - more tolerant of fighting among boys and more likely to use physical punishment with boys - most environments children find themselves in support some sex interactions - parents likely to select same sex playmates for young children - usually birthday parties are all same-sex friends INTERACTION STYLES IN ADULTHOOD - research based on how males and females interact in groups show that -men will be more directive, dominant, hierarchical and task focused - women behaviour is more supportive, cooperative, and egalitarian - females engage in more positive social behaviour (agreeing, group solidarity, encouraging others to talk. Also, are more likely to reciprocate positive acts) - men talk more in groups and focus on task behaviour ( asking for, or offering opinions, suggestions) - men also engage in more negative social behaviour (disagreement, antagonism) - differences in interaction styles though are not clear cut, there are a range of other variables which does effect interaction QUALIFIERS OF SEX DIFFERENCES - the nature of the task - men are more task oriented in masculine situations - women are more task oriented in feminine situations - both sexes are likely to be more confident in situations relevant to their own sex, which enables them to make suggestions and provide information - men are more likely to agree when working with female partners, women more likely to disagree when working with male partners - sex differences in interaction styles are greater when interaction if brief and with a stranger - the more you get to know someone and become familiar with their abilities, their sex becomes less of an important determinant of interaction behaviour IMPLICATIONS OF INTERACTION STYLES FOR PERFORMANCE - a groups performance may depend on the match between its members interaction styles and the task which the group faces - groups with task oriented goals will perform better when members show task oriented behaviour - studies show males will outperformed female groups wen the task required the generation of ideas - female groups outperformed male groups when the task required a group to reach a consensus LANGUAGE - if you were reading out a conversation between two people it is easy to tell if its being taken place between 2 males of 2 females. Mixed conversation though is harder to distinguish - one of the most common perceptions of the difference between men and women’s language is that women use more of it: women talk more than men - when growing older the gap between how much women and men talk lessens. They begin to use the same about of words in conversation but males will speak for longer periods of time, and more words per turn - besides words spoken in general, there are other features of language which men and women do differ - males more likely to refer to quantity (that house is as big as a football field) - males more likely to use directives to make references to themselves (use “I”) - females more likely to use intensive adverbs ( I “totally” agree) - refer to emotions in language - use more words per sentence -men more likely to talk about sports…… no kidding?. And use assertive language - women more likely to use social words in language and express agreement - there are 3 dimensions in language we can look at to better understand language used by men and women - language is direct of indirect- men’s language is more direct - language cant be succinct or elaborative- women’s longer sentences and use of intensive adverbs male their language more elaborative - language can be instrumental or affective- men’s reference to quantity of instrumental, women use of emotion words if affective - men’s language can be said to be instrumental, succinct, and directive -women’s language can be said to be affective, elaborative, and indirect QUALIFIERS OF SEX DIFFERENCES -sex differences in language are not always consistent - one factor that influences the language is the sex of the person whom you are speaking to - in adults, men are more talkative to spouses/partners -while women were more talkative to classmates -interaction partner also influences sex differences in the nature of the language used - sex differences in affiliate speech(women>men), and assertive speech (men>women) are larger when interaction is with a stranger - sex differences were also larger for affiliative and assertive speech behaviour in same-sex than mixed-sex interaction patterns -topic of conversation also plays a role in sex differences in communication - study done on conversation dyads showed that… -men are more likely to talk about - sports - women trapped in relationships - drinking ** these were college students -women are more likely to talk about - relationships. - men -clothes - feelings - much easier to predict the gender of same sex-conversations than mixed-sex - mixed-sex dyads of conversation resemble female same sex conversations more so. - males are more likely to change their behaviour when interacting with the other sex - language stereotypes are more prominent when conversations are short and with a stranger - the longer two people talk and become more familiar with the person and more comfortable their speech becomes more similar - many of the sex differences in our language within our western culture do not pertain elsewhere, for ex. Japans culture does not see the same differences in communication that we do -Japanese language is very similar to the language used by women in the western culture - Japanese see’s their language as sympathetic, agreeable etc - western cultures see’s Japanese language as powerless NONVERBAL BEHAVIOUR - any aspect of conversation that do not include words - the domains most focused on in research are -smiling -gazing - interpersonal sensitivity - accuracy in conveying emotion - touching - females smile and gaze more than males - females stand closer to others, face others more directly - males have more expansive body movements - females are more accurate in interpreting others emotional expressions and are better able to convey emotions - sex differences in nonverbal behaviour, in particular smiling and decoding, are larger than most sex differences and larger than most social psychological effects - sex differences in nonverbal behaviour, like other aspects of language disappear when conversation in taking part between mixed-sex dyads - most smiling will take place between two women - the farthest conversation gap will be between 2 men SMILING - females smile more than males - this differences in largest among teenagers - not all smiles are the same - genuine smiles (duchenne smiles) -false smiles (non-duchenne smiles) - non duchenne smiles can be useful during conversations (especially conversations like interviews) for concealing negative emotions, show enthusiasm, and take up time while thinking of a verbal response GAZING - conveys interest and attention (but is very hard to interpret) - women will gave more than men - gazing can also be a sign of status of the conversation - may gaze intently a the person whom is speaking - not the same across cultures -Japanese women use far less eye contact than men INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY - also referred to as decoding - correctly interpreting and assessing others, including nonverbal behaviour and their emotions - women are more sensitive to nonverbal cues and pick up on them better than men -they are also better at understanding the meaning of those nonverbal cues such as facial expression (sex doesn’t matter either here, they can decode men and women’s emotions better than males in any scenario, across all age groups, and across many cultures around the world, not just western) ENCODING - the ability to understand one’s own emotions accurately - the capacity to convey emotions without intentionally doing so - women are better a conveying their emotions then males - people have an easier time understanding the emotional state of a female when talking then a male TOUCHING - many moderators involved in touching - the nature of the touch - context to which it occurs - women are more likely to receive touching - trend that men to be more likely than women to
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