The Myth of Mars and Venus
......Do women really talk more than men?
...... The reviewers are inclined to believe that this is a case of gender and amount of talk being linked indirectly rather than directly: the more direct link is with status, in combination with the formality of the setting (status tends to be more relevant in formal situations). The basic trend, especially in formal and public contexts, is for higher-status speakers to talk more than lower-status ones. The gender pattern is explained by the observation that in most contexts where status is relevant, men are more likely than women to occupy high-status positions; if all other things are equal, gender itself is a hierarchical system in which men are regarded as having higher status.
"Regarded" is an important word here, because conversational dominance is not just about the way dominant speakers behave; it is also about the willingness of others to defer to them. Some experimental studies have found that you can reverse the "men talk more" pattern, or at least reduce the gap, by instructing subjects to discuss a topic that both sexes consider a distinctively female area of expertise. Status, then, is not a completely fixed attribute, but can vary relative to the setting, subject and purpose of conversation.see more by clicking the link above.
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