Sexual Differentiation • We know that both sexes have different interests and enjoy different activities just like women are drawn to certain colours than men. • This means that men and women do vary in their lexicons and semantics. • The most notable difference in lexicon is the use of hyperbole. This comes in the form of intensifiers. Whilst humans are natural born exaggerators women tend to use intensifiers to place emphasis on important aspects of conversation or when using description. • However when discussing lexicon and semantic differences stereotypes tend to arise.
Do women talk more than men? • WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS? • “Where there are women and geese there’s noise!’ • ‘A women's sword is her tongue and she doesn’t let it rust.’
REALITY? • Studies have shown that it is actually men who talk the most. • Where: Staff meetings, television panel discussions, husband and wife pairs and in spontaneous conversation. • Men tend to talk more when it is required in a public domain in work environments and when factual information and opinion concerning a set topic. • Studies between boys and girls in classrooms suggest that boys will spend longer talking in a class presentation on an issue than girls will.
Why is this? • Some argue that it is prejudice against women and perceptions of what women should and shouldn’t do in the work place and or public arena is a factor contributing to this. • That a women's silence is valued over her opinion. • That women are for decoration not for commentary. • That males are the dominant sex and thus should be considered so in a public setting.
Why is this? • Others argue that it is not as simple as this. That in fact we need to take into consideration the context in which the conversation occurs in. • Women tend to favour private settings over public settings. The hold their own in private settings and feel much more comfortable to voice their opinions and concerns. • Why? Because public is usually used to assert dominance and power, where as private is used to develop supporting social/professional relationship. • Thus male talk tends to be referential or informative, while women's talk is more supportive and facilitative.
Politeness • Women tend to use more linguistic hedges like ‘I think’, ‘sort of’, ‘mm’ ‘yeah’ and incorporate more paralinguistic features such as smiling nodding and grimacing. • They tend to be linguistically supportive of conversation and work harder to initiate and maintain conversation with men.
All in All • Language and communication matter more to women than to men; women talk more than men. • Women are more verbally skilled than men. • Men's goals in using language tend to be about getting things done, whereas women's tend to be about making connections to other people. Men talk more about things and facts, whereas women talk more about people, relationships and feelings. • Men's way of using language is competitive, reflecting their general interest in acquiring and maintaining status; women's use of language is cooperative, reflecting their preference for equality and harmony. • These differences routinely lead to "miscommunication" between the sexes, with each sex misinterpreting the other's intentions. This causes problems in contexts where men and women regularly interact, and especially in heterosexual relationships.
Swearing • Women have always been and still are avid uses of euphemism. Instead of SHIT they may use shoot, sugar, bugger, shish. Instead of FUCK they may use FRICK, FRIGGING, FRIG. • In general males tend to swear more often than females and do so more often in a personal setting. Females are linguistically conservative in this respect. • However this is not always the case with some females harbouring a POTTY mouth, and the way in which swearing is becoming less taboo and more for the use of emphatic stress or expression of support, disbelief or general conversational acknowledgments.