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Gendered Nonverbal Communication

Gendered Nonverbal Communication

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Gendered Nonverbal Communication

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  1. Gendered Nonverbal Communication Chapter 6

  2. Gendered Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbal behaviors 65%+ of the total meaning of communication • Nonverbal = all elements of communication other than words • Learned through interaction with others

  3. Gendered Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbal communication related to gender and culture: • Expresses cultural meanings of gender • Men and women use to present themselves as gendered people

  4. To Supplement Verbal Comm. • Supplement verbal messages: • Repeat words • Contradict verbal message • Complement verbals • Replace verbal message • Accent verbal message

  5. To Regulate Interaction • Regulate interaction • Women use to invite others into conversation • Men use to hold onto talk stage

  6. To Establish Relationship Level • Establish relationship level of meaning • Responsiveness • Women more responsive than men • Cultivated in feminine speech communities

  7. To Establish Relationship Level • Females • Smile more • Maintain more eye contact • Maintain more direct body orientation

  8. To Establish Relationship Level • Males • Lean forward • Adopt postures congruent with speaker

  9. Functions of Nonverbals • Other aspects of identity interact with gender to influence responsiveness • Japanese women refrain from smiling • US – African American women don’t smile as much as Caucasian

  10. Liking • Liking • Signal we like or dislike others • Females socialized to be nice • More nonverbal signals of friendliness than men • Also signal dislike

  11. Power or Control • Power or control • Power = degree we act as equal, dominant, deferential • Control = who defines topics, directs conversation, defers

  12. Power or Control • Vocal qualities • Touch • Use of space

  13. Power or Control • Nonverbal behaviors assert or defer territoriality • Women more likely than men to surrender territory

  14. Forms of Nonverbal Communication • Cultural views of gender are evident in nonverbal messages directed at males and females • Communicate in ways that express gender identities

  15. Artifacts • Personal objects that influence how see self and express identity • Parents send messages through toys give to sons and daughters • Boys given toys that invite competition, active play • Girls given toys that encourage nurturing, attention to appearance

  16. Artifacts • Toy catalogs offer messages about cultural meanings • Girls are pretty, soft, nurturing • Boys are active, adventurous, aggressive • See an example at: •

  17. Artifacts • In adult life, continue to reflect cultural views of masculinity and femininity • Men’s clothes not as colorful, more functional • Women’s clothes call attention to body, less functional • Meaning depends on cultural context

  18. Artifacts • Advertisements for food, homemaking, child rearing feature women • Products associated with work, cars, sports feature men (or women in seductive poses) • Cosmetics industry multimillion dollar business

  19. Artifacts • Some use artifacts to challenge existing perceptions • Men wear earrings • Women wear military boots

  20. Proximity and Personal Space • Proxemics refers to use of space • Different cultures have different norms • Offer insight into power and status accorded to groups in society

  21. Proximity and Personal Space • Men have private spaces • Few women with families have private spaces

  22. Territoriality • Personal space we don’t want others to invade • Not equally respected • People with power more likely to enter space of those with less power • Men go into women’s spaces more than women enter men’s

  23. Territoriality • How respond to invasion? • Women more likely to accept invasion and cede territory • Men more likely to challenge invasion

  24. Haptics (Touch) • Touch from adults communicates differently • Parents touch daughters more often and more gently • Boys learn to associate touching with control and power

  25. Haptics (Touch) • Women initiate touches that express support • Men use touch to assert power and express sexual interest • Women may perceive men’s touch as harassing • Gay and lesbians may not feel can touch in public

  26. Haptics (Touch) • Men tend to have more physical confidence • More willing to use physical force

  27. Kinesics (Facial and Body Motion) • Women’s movements signal they are approachable, friendly, unassuming • Men’s movements indicate they are reserved, in control

  28. Kinesics (Facial and Body Motion) • Men more likely to use movements aggressively • Women signal interest by sustaining eye contact • Men do not sustain eye contact during conversations • Except when challenge others

  29. Kinesics (Facial and Body Motion)

  30. Paralanguage • Vocal cues that accompany communication • Difference between average male and average female pitch exceeds physiological explanations

  31. Paralanguage • Women use higher pitch, softer volume, more inflection • Men use lower pitch, greater volume • Women perceived as feminine assumed to be pretty, immature • Men perceived as masculine assumed to be intelligent, mature

  32. Physical Appearance • Men and women pressured to meet cultural ideals • Concern about appearance not as much of a problem for males • Men with concerns tend to focus on musculature • See how GI Joe has changed: •

  33. Physical Appearance • Girls and women more dissatisfied with appearance • Dislike of bodies affects self-esteem • Find it impossible to resist pervasive pressure to be thin

  34. Physical Appearance • Concern about weight starts early • By 5, many girls have negative self-images based on weight

  35. Physical Appearance • Pressure to be thin contributes to epidemic of eating disorders • Learn more at: •

  36. Physical Appearance • Ideals reflected in popular culture: • Mannequins • Borgata Babes • Kate Winslet • Miss America • Playboy centerfolds

  37. Physical Appearance • Women give less attention to more important aspects of identity • Women with internalized cultural view of femininity more susceptible to cultural ideals

  38. Physical Appearance • African American women more satisfied with bodies, less prone to eating disorders • More men working out and using steroids to develop muscularity • Physical appearance more closely linked to self-worth for gay men

  39. Interpreting Nonverbal Behavior • Women more skilled at interpreting nonverbals and identifying emotions • Females more adept at decoding emotions • Men faster at noticing angry faces

  40. Interpreting Nonverbal Behavior • Females’ right brain specialization may make more adept at decoding emotions • Cognitive development and social learning females encouraged to be sensitive to others

  41. Interpreting Nonverbal Behavior • Women’s standpoint as caregivers • Women outnumber men in caring professions • Decoding skill results from women's standpoint as subordinate members of society

  42. Cultural Values • Women emphasize communality • Men emphasize agency • Western society values agency more than communality • Masculine characteristics perceived as norm for healthy adults

  43. Cultural Values • Cultural beliefs not etched in stone • Can resist unequal views of agency and communality • Recognize different styles • Can choose not to embody gendered nonverbal style

  44. Respecting Gendered Styles • Chapter empowers us to be more effective communicators • Greater accuracy in interpreting others results from understanding differences • Suspend judgment based on own perspectives

  45. Respecting Gendered Styles • Consider what others mean more thoughtfully • Ask for clarification • Make an effort to appreciate others • Becomes easier with practice

  46. Respecting Gendered Styles • Increases your range of options • Empower yourself to create style that reflects identity assign to self