Various theories explain how gender influences the language of communication. According to researchers, there is a significant difference between how the language is used by men and women in terms of their feelings and perceptions. Supposedly, the language of communication is utilized differently depending on the individual’s gender. This article argues that differences in language use between men and women are not determined solely by their gender roles.
It is generally accepted that men and women listen and react differently in normal conversations. Women want to know if people like them, while men care if others respect them (Tannen 217). The scholar states that men play “the game of ‘Did I win?’ while the women play the game of ‘was I helpful enough?'” (Tannen 420). Men do not listen but use language as a form of monologue to convey information, while women see themselves as a supportive listening audience, while also speaking more than men (Tannen 422). In terms of the greater pragmatism of male character and male experience, it can be determined that Tannen does not provide sufficient evidence for these claims. She relies primarily on emotional perception, on anecdotal evidence, and does not provide quantitative data to demonstrate her claims.
Other scholars believe that it is a mistake to focus on the differences between the male and female sexes and at the same time ignore intra-gender differences. Cameron argues that generalizations based on quantitative analysis conceal individual differences between people by focusing only on gender and analyzing sex as a determining factor (3). Differences in language use cannot be determined solely by gender. They must be understood in terms of social, ethnic, and other contexts, and must consider differences within each gender.
Thus, there are gender differences in male and female language models. Various aspects of gender language differentiation are common in contemporary cultures. However, the degree of influence of gender in language use cannot be determined by gender alone. Scholars should pay more attention to differences within the same sex, the social structure in which language is used, and the specific situation of a particular conversation. The use of language depends much less on the gender of a person than on their mentality, personality, and social status.
Cameron, Deborah. “Unanswered Questions and Unquestioned Assumptions in the Study of Language and Gender: Female Verbal Superiority.” Gender & Language, vol. 1, no. 1, 2007, pp. 1-13.
Tannen, Deborah. “I’ll Explain it to You: Lecturing and Listening.” Exploring Language, vol. 1, no. 1, 1995, pp. 415-428.
Tannen, Deborah. “Ethnic Style in Male-Female Conversation”, Language and Social Identities, vol. 1, no. 2, 1982, pp. 217-231.