communication and gender differences

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communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 20th, 2016, 11:50 pm 

I love science but I do not communicate like a man and I what to defend my gender difference with science. I think humanity on the whole, would be doing much better if over the centuries females were valued for their difference and what they can contribute to discussions. And if they were allowed to communicate on their terms, instead of being forced to communicate on male terms or be closed out. Here is some science to support what I believe.

http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1521&context=cmc_theses

Gender Differences in Communication Styles
The biggest difference between men and women and their style of communication
boils down to the fact that men and women view the purpose of conversations differently.
Academic research on psychological gender differences has shown that while women use
communication as a tool to enhance social connections and create relationships, men use
language to exert dominance and achieve tangible outcomes (Leaper, 1991; Maltz &
Borker, 1982; Wood, 1996; Mason, 1994). Women are, overall, more expressive,
tentative, and polite in conversation, while men are more assertive, and power-hungry
(Basow & Rubenfield, 2003). Men and women also differ in their relations towards
others in society: while women strive to be more social in their interactions with others,
men value their independence (Chodorow, 1978; Dinnerstein, 1977; Eagly, 1987;
Grilligan, 1982; Miller, 1976). On the other had, popular works by John Gray and
Deborah Tannen show that that while men view conversations as a way to establish and
maintain status and dominance in relationships, women see the purpose of conversation
to create and foster an intimate bond with the other party by talking about topical
problems and issues they are communally facing (Gray, 1992; Tannen, 1990).


I want to stress it is my belief we are different and that this is a good thing, and that humanity would do better if the female difference were valued, instead of going for an equality that means we all be as men and being true to our female gender is taboo and justifies being excluded from the club. Now your job is to use science to argue the science I have presented, or if you like use science to support the possibility that we are different and that is a good thing because civilization benefits from the difference.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby neuro on September 21st, 2016, 3:23 am 

In a sense, one may raise the same argument about using our right or left hemisphere to reason, discuss and create artistic work.

Our right hemisphere elaborates in a more holistic, synthetic, direct, intuitive, pictorial and emotional way.
Our left hemisphere elaborates in a more logical, analytic, structural, mathematical, and in a sense "rigorous" way.

The relevant point might be that - depending on the task at hand - the contribution of the two hemispheres will vary quite sensibly. In creating art, as well as in generating a novel scientific insight, the right hemisphere might be more powerful (Einstein used to say something about "seeing" the solutions to his questions as a general picture rather than an analytic answer - if I recall correctly). However, organizing, exposing and discussing a logical, scientific argument relies mostly on left-hemisphere work.

Quite similarly, although I imagine truly revolutionary new insights may come from the female perspective on life and science, the discussion of such insights would be more profitably carried on according to the more rigid, schematic, abstract (and disconnected from practical and emotional issues) attitude that is typical of males.

But I may well be wrong: as far as intuition is concerned, I, being a male, am quite limited...
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 21st, 2016, 1:29 pm 

neuro » September 21st, 2016, 1:23 am wrote:In a sense, one may raise the same argument about using our right or left hemisphere to reason, discuss and create artistic work.

Our right hemisphere elaborates in a more holistic, synthetic, direct, intuitive, pictorial and emotional way.
Our left hemisphere elaborates in a more logical, analytic, structural, mathematical, and in a sense "rigorous" way.

The relevant point might be that - depending on the task at hand - the contribution of the two hemispheres will vary quite sensibly. In creating art, as well as in generating a novel scientific insight, the right hemisphere might be more powerful (Einstein used to say something about "seeing" the solutions to his questions as a general picture rather than an analytic answer - if I recall correctly). However, organizing, exposing and discussing a logical, scientific argument relies mostly on left-hemisphere work.

Quite similarly, although I imagine truly revolutionary new insights may come from the female perspective on life and science, the discussion of such insights would be more profitably carried on according to the more rigid, schematic, abstract (and disconnected from practical and emotional issues) attitude that is typical of males.

But I may well be wrong: as far as intuition is concerned, I, being a male, am quite limited...


Your post is greatly appreciated! For over 6000 years women have been excluded from the important things men talk about and do, and it seems clear why this was so. Some women manage to compete successfully with the men, but might this come at a social cost?

Modern education is focused on left-brain skills as these are most desired by technology. When I look at this, I think millions of young people are being cheated out of the education they need to realize their right brain potential, and might there be a social cost to this preference in education?

I have been looking for empirical science about hormones to share what I know about being a woman and hormonal cycles, and how these cycles influence our values and behaviors including communication, and "wanting a baby", ah, stop the world, I have a baabyyy. I am telling you, this is a different world. Anyway- The subject of our cycles and sexual desire and sexual attractiveness is being well studied. This is not what I wanted to bring up in this thread, but it appears to be the only thing available without spending much more time looking for the empirical information I want about being mothers and caring for others, and why our communication tends to be different from male talk. Off topic maybe but interesting-
http://www.livescience.com/10828-booty- ... woman.html

And at the risk of being hammered for rambling and not focused and (snark) having another thread closed because I am not following correct form. I must say the word "empirical" that I learned in college and is treated as some kind of a god, is a million miles from women's talk! Domestic women may look for information about how to comfort a crying baby, or how to please her man, but she is not worried about empirical information. She wants human information as women have passed on human information for all these centuries. This may not be the important things men talk about, but I do think their voice belongs in discussions of how to save the world and in discussion of human behavior.
Last edited by Athena on September 21st, 2016, 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 21st, 2016, 1:35 pm 

whoops quoted when I meant to edit.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby SciameriKen on September 21st, 2016, 2:05 pm 

Athena » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:50 am wrote:I love science but I do not communicate like a man and I what to defend my gender difference with science. I think humanity on the whole, would be doing much better if over the centuries females were valued for their difference and what they can contribute to discussions. And if they were allowed to communicate on their terms, instead of being forced to communicate on male terms or be closed out. Here is some science to support what I believe.

http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1521&context=cmc_theses

Gender Differences in Communication Styles
The biggest difference between men and women and their style of communication
boils down to the fact that men and women view the purpose of conversations differently.
Academic research on psychological gender differences has shown that while women use
communication as a tool to enhance social connections and create relationships, men use
language to exert dominance and achieve tangible outcomes (Leaper, 1991; Maltz &
Borker, 1982; Wood, 1996; Mason, 1994). Women are, overall, more expressive,
tentative, and polite in conversation, while men are more assertive, and power-hungry
(Basow & Rubenfield, 2003). Men and women also differ in their relations towards
others in society: while women strive to be more social in their interactions with others,
men value their independence (Chodorow, 1978; Dinnerstein, 1977; Eagly, 1987;
Grilligan, 1982; Miller, 1976). On the other had, popular works by John Gray and
Deborah Tannen show that that while men view conversations as a way to establish and
maintain status and dominance in relationships, women see the purpose of conversation
to create and foster an intimate bond with the other party by talking about topical
problems and issues they are communally facing (Gray, 1992; Tannen, 1990).


I want to stress it is my belief we are different and that this is a good thing, and that humanity would do better if the female difference were valued, instead of going for an equality that means we all be as men and being true to our female gender is taboo and justifies being excluded from the club. Now your job is to use science to argue the science I have presented, or if you like use science to support the possibility that we are different and that is a good thing because civilization benefits from the difference.




The science you are citing is a 2012 article, but the references seem to focus between 1970-1999. The features they use to describe large swaths of women and men may be more reflective of generational differences in gender roles. Do the divides still exist today? Sure - but I would guess now-a-days there is much greater blending of "female" and "male" characteristics in general leadership, and I am hopeful this is getting better.

The article was also using a lot of vague and gross generalizations to describe the differences - perhaps you can sum up what aspects of "female" tendencies are not being represented?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on September 21st, 2016, 3:41 pm 

I was actually thinking about this in terms of government.

Does it make more sense to have man leading, a woman leading or both leading together? Is the latter already the real situation but we simply choose to deny the influence of the husband or wife of the leaders?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 21st, 2016, 10:26 pm 

SciameriKen » September 21st, 2016, 12:05 pm wrote:
The science you are citing is a 2012 article, but the references seem to focus between 1970-1999. The features they use to describe large swaths of women and men may be more reflective of generational differences in gender roles. Do the divides still exist today? Sure - but I would guess now-a-days there is much greater blending of "female" and "male" characteristics in general leadership, and I am hopeful this is getting better.

The article was also using a lot of vague and gross generalizations to describe the differences - perhaps you can sum up what aspects of "female" tendencies are not being represented?


Thank you sooo much for showing interest in this subject. I did not realize how important it is to me, until I read the research and started crying. Why would hard science make a person cry? I don't think men can relate to the female experience as older domestic females do, and not even my younger sister can do that, so I think your concern that the research would get the same results today is valid. There was a social/economic shift that puts my sister and I is distinctly different cohorts. I have compassion for our mother's struggle and she has contempt for our mother's failure to do better. I was totally confused when I was told in high school that I must decide on a career. Huh? Women didn't go to the work. They stayed home and cared for the family. By the time you to my sister, a woman who can not hold her own in the rough and tumble of the workforce is a real looser. I have intentionally used the word "domestic" to qualify the potential difference between domestic women and career women.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 22nd, 2016, 12:18 am 

SciameriKen » September 21st, 2016, 12:05 pm wrote:
The science you are citing is a 2012 article, but the references seem to focus between 1970-1999. The features they use to describe large swaths of women and men may be more reflective of generational differences in gender roles. Do the divides still exist today? Sure - but I would guess now-a-days there is much greater blending of "female" and "male" characteristics in general leadership, and I am hopeful this is getting better.

The article was also using a lot of vague and gross generalizations to describe the differences - perhaps you can sum up what aspects of "female" tendencies are not being represented?


I believe you have a valid concern for questioning if the research would get the same results today.

I also want to distinguish between domestic women and career women, because of the research I did while working on a college paper. The task before us seems overwhelming at the moment because of the complexity and I am sure that complexity leads to the generalizations of which you speak.

I wish I could easily access the research I did for the college paper but an internet hunt for something that even comes close seems futile. There is just too much information and going through all of it to find a specific theory is overwhelming, so I will say what I found years ago, and maybe someone can provide better information. All this verbiage is tied into the question about if research results would be the same today.

The theory is that as we grow up we internalize our values, and socialization plays a powerful role in gender differences, and as we know our socialization has been changing, so what was true 20 years ago, may not be true today. But now we come to generalization. What was true 20 years ago will be true today for those who have the same socialization people had 20 years ago. Now these might be, only 20% of the female population today grow up believing the most important thing they can be is wives and mothers. This is probably more likely in rural areas, especially in the bible belt, and where high tech industry is non existant. The simple point made in the research I wish I could access is this isn't just about thinking, but very much about feeling. Male or female those socialized to stay at home and care for family, will "feel" very uncomfortable if not fulfilling this role in life, just the same as a person socialized to expect a career and a 40 hour work week and all that goes with that, will be miserable staying instead of working.

So we have the socialization and internalized values that become physical feedback about if something is right or wrong. If I should leave the baby with a baby sitter is not just a mental decision. No matter how strong my logic is that getting a job and leaving the baby with a baby sitter is, if my internalized values say otherwise, I will be miserable unless I am doing what my BODY says is right. A woman like this will never have the freedom to advance in a career that a woman without these internalized value will have, and visa versa, if she was socialized for a career, staying home with children year after year will be intolerable.

This is not just about the decision to work or not, but it also about our language. I prefer the term domestic language because this defines the value system a person is working with. The link I was able to find uses the term social language versus academic English and seems to speak of bilingual children, not the English speaking child of blue collar workers in the city, or a child in a rural area lacking big city dreams. Even if we all speak English this not mean having the same language patterns for understanding our world and how to get along. That is the problem I am personally having in this forum. I am a domestic female and learning academic thought patterns is almost like trying to learn a foreign language. I suppose with tutoring I could do better. Unless you have attempted to read a college textbook and realized after several pages you don't have a clue what is being said, it might be difficult to understand why if we all speak English can't we understand each other? So for the best authoritative explanation I could find-

http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/ ... ic-english

Okay, I will stop here and brace myself for the objections to my rambling and speaking of too many things and not being focused. I really hope that does not happen, but it happens so often I started this thread to hopefully resolve the problem with better understanding of being human and our differences. And because action has been taken against my post, I want to say, I have done the very best I can to use empirical information, stay focused and be concise. My failure to meet the standards of the science forum is not careless disrespect for the rules.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 22nd, 2016, 12:47 am 

BadgerJelly » September 21st, 2016, 1:41 pm wrote:I was actually thinking about this in terms of government.

Does it make more sense to have man leading, a woman leading or both leading together? Is the latter already the real situation but we simply choose to deny the influence of the husband or wife of the leaders?



I hope I understand you correctly and if I do, I really appreciate your question.

In the past we avoided conflicts by dividing our gender roles between what men do and what women do, between men's organizations and women's organizations. I went to the Girls Club after school and learned everything a female needs to know to be a wife and mother. The boys went to Boys Club a block away and learned to do all things men need to do around the house like fix the back door, repair the car,etc.

We had public education that prepared everyone for civic and industrial leadership, and no one questioned that the female's role was civic, as in the organizing the charity tea, and the male's role was industrial and perhaps political. You would probably laugh if you read some of my old books teaching what is right for women and what is right for men, but remember those were internalized values and our social status depended on how well we fulfilled our proper social role.

Now as women took public office, the death rate of children dropped. Okay, you know the right and left politics, the red and blue states? Where a woman can succeed and what she can succeed in doing, depends very much on her community. It seems obvious to some that Hillary is criticized for things that a man would not be faulted for. Are we talking about the bible belt, New York or California? The answer to your question is what kind of leadership does the community want? Also how sexist is the profession or the community? Research has shown sexism is very much a determining factor in hiring and wages in the science field, and this is not just men preferring to hire men, but also women preferring to hire men. In fact, some women would say, that men are more fair than women. There is research showing women tend to enforce social norms more than men. But men are more into hierarchial power. That means women can be their own worst enemy. I think the explanation of gender differences is very complex and sometimes paradoxical, and for sure things are changing. Whenever I see a man with children on the bike path or at the park, I always say how much I like to see a man with the children, because I can remember when this was extremely rare.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 22nd, 2016, 1:17 am 

Here is another interesting paper on gender communication differences.

http://www.academypublication.com/issues/past/tpls/vol03/08/28.pdf


II. MALE-FEMALE DIFFERENCE IN THEIR USING LANGUAGE
Language reflects, records, and transmits social differences, so we should not be surprised to find reflections of gender differences in language, for most societies differentiate between men and women in various marked ways. The paper will examine the differences from the following aspects.
A. Differences in Pronunciation
Phonological differences between the speech of men and women have been noted in a variety of languages. Usually women‟s pronunciation is better than men‟s, such as the pronunciation of “-ing”. Shuy (1969) made a study in this field, and he found that 62.2% of men pronounced “-ing” in a wrong way, but only 28.9% of women didn‟t pronounce right. This can also be shown in the learning of the second language. Usually female students have better pronunciation than male students, and that can explain the reason why more girls choose to learn language as their major than boys. Generally speaking, girls exhibit a better ability in language.
B. Differences in Intonation
Women often like to speak in a high-pitch voice because of physiological reason, but scientists point out that this also associates with women‟s “timidity” and “emotional instability”. Besides the high-pitch voice, women prefer to use reverse accent as well.
Example: Husband: When will dinner be ready?
Wife: Around six o‟clock..
The wife is the only one who knows the answer, but she answers her husband with a high rise tone, which has the meaning “will that do”. This kind of intonation suggests women‟s gentility and docility. The husband will surely feel his wife‟s respect. Lakoff (1975) says that women usually answer a question with rising intonation pattern rather than falling intonation. In this way, they can show their gentleness, and sometimes this intonation shows a lack of confidence.
ISSN 1799-2591
Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 3, No. 8, pp. 1485-1489, August 2013
© 2013 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland.
doi:10.4304/tpls.3.8.1485-1489
© 2013 ACADEMY PUBLISHER
As a contrary, men like to use falling intonation to show that they are quite sure of what they are saying. Falling intonation also shows men‟s confidence and sometimes power.
C. Differences in Vocabulary
We can notice that men and women tend to choose different words to show their feelings. For example, when a woman is frightened, she usually shouts out, “I am frightened to death”! If you hear a man says this, you‟ll think he is a coward and womanish. The differences in vocabulary can be shown in the following five aspects:


About the woman's high pitched voice, studies have shown children are apt to ignore a woman's commands for action, but they respond well to the male voice. I think we respond differently to soft high voices or deep masculine voices, and we also respond differently to a person's size. Tall, attractive males with deep voices have an advantage over the rest of us. Imagine if Obama had the physic of a short wimp, no way would he have had a chance to be president. Ralf Nader had so much to offer, but he did not have the physical appearance required of a popular leader. Our bias is not just gender. A tall woman with a deep voice also has a higher chance of winning. And old is not good, especially if there is any hint of health problem. Whatever, our size and the quality of our voice does matter.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 23rd, 2016, 1:42 am 

A subject of the Charley Rose show today is the different standard we hold women to and why Hillary Clinton is in a bind because she if talks as a man, she is disliked for that, and if she talks as woman she is seen as unfit for doing a man's job. Again and again, she is charged with not being authentic and not being trust worthy which is a problem of the bind she is in. If she is too aggressive she is disliked because that is not how a woman should behavior, and if she isn't aggressive she is seen as unfit to be president. Some are saying she is at a serious disadvantage in the presidential debate because it isn't possible to be womanly and manly at the same time. .
This link addresses the problem.

http://www.newsweek.com/hillary-clinton ... ned-369153
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on September 24th, 2016, 10:00 am 

Athena -

I think you may have misinterpreted my ponderings. I was simply asking about how world leaders are effected by their better halves. Of course they present themselves as an indivdual but I doubt their partners is not consulted
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Braininvat on September 24th, 2016, 10:03 am 

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/25/op ... -face.html

This article seems relevant. Discusses scientific findings on gender stereotypes, especially as regards how expressions are perceived.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 30th, 2016, 11:48 pm 

Braininvat » September 24th, 2016, 8:03 am wrote:http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/25/opinion/sunday/hillary-clintons-angry-face.html

This article seems relevant. Discusses scientific findings on gender stereotypes, especially as regards how expressions are perceived.


So given we tend to judge females differently than we judge males, are the benefits to having a female president or might there be problems with that? That is considering the gender effect on all the males around the world who sit in positions of power. Might they not take a female president seriously? Could that be a problem?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on September 30th, 2016, 11:55 pm 

BadgerJelly » September 21st, 2016, 1:41 pm wrote:I was actually thinking about this in terms of government.

Does it make more sense to have man leading, a woman leading or both leading together? Is the latter already the real situation but we simply choose to deny the influence of the husband or wife of the leaders?



I don't think there is any question about Elenor Roosevelt having a strong influence on Franklin Roosevelt's policies. While I think Marget Thatcher was influenced by male peers. I could be wrong but I think in general to be accepted in the men's club it is necessary to be like them?

In general, I think women have worked with the gender difference by associating with a man who would achieve the goals she wanted achieved. I think it is easier for a woman to get a child welfare bills passed than say a bill regulating industry? I am for sure stereo typing, but I suspect human nature is behind the stereo types?

I don't think understanding the differences is as easy as the research claims. My school teacher grandmother had a strong on effect on everyone's behavior, but she did not have the kind of power Marget Thatcher had.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 1st, 2016, 1:20 pm 

I didn't suspect mtbturtle to be a female until reading what was probably mtbturtle's last post. Now I am betting
mtbturtle is a female and that the person who banned her is a male. I base my guess on the research of differences in male and female communication. This has huge ramifications of social control and the challenge of equality. So much can not be said, because our consciousness remains restricted, by male dominance, and the fact that there we do not have equality that means free to be feminine, but we must comply with the male standard if we are allowed in male dominated areas. It matters not that a forum has a female mod, because only if she complies with the male values and rules would she be a mod. This is about the male and female difference, and power or the lack of it and what we are conscious of or are not. The feminine voice and rules are closed out and there are terrible social ramifications to this.

Is my guess about the gender of mtbturtle and the gender of the person who banned mtbturtle right or wrong. That is a scientific question directly relevant to this thread.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby kudayta on October 1st, 2016, 2:37 pm 

Athena,

I think stating that the administration here banned mtbturtle because of gender is libelous. And implying that men are incapable of reasoning with women is excruciatingly sexist.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Braininvat on October 1st, 2016, 2:50 pm 

kudayta » October 1st, 2016, 11:37 am wrote:Athena,

I think stating that the administration here banned mtbturtle because of gender is libelous....


....and false. I know the banning mod, and that person's reasons for banning included violations of basic forum rules of discourse. There were no "male [or] female values" at stake, just hostile and uncivil treatment of members. Courtesy and respect are human values, not specific to one gender. I would request that any further comments off-topic be taken to Feedback, ok? I do not know if that mod is around today, but would reply eventually.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on October 1st, 2016, 5:51 pm 

Athena » October 1st, 2016, 12:20 pm wrote:I didn't suspect mtbturtle to be a female until reading what was probably mtbturtle's last post. Now I am betting
mtbturtle is a female and that the person who banned her is a male. I base my guess on the research of differences in male and female communication.

But if you, who are aware of and sensitive to gender differences in communication, and yet did not suspect from mtbturtle's style of communication that she was female, how would it raise a red flag in retrospect? If it was her style that had caused friction, why didn't you notice how it was different from male posters' style, and what did a [presumed male] moderator object to that you did not?

PS I don't think this is off-topic, because it's not the content or the contentious post(s) I'm asking about - it's the style of communication. Mtbturtle did express a personal female point of view on one political issue, but I never noticed anything gender-specific in her style; not choice of words, grammar, sentence structure or cadence.

Of course, with written communication, we don't hear volume, pitch and pronunciation, which does level the field - also for any males who may be considered insufficiently masculine in the walking world. When it's written communication - and all the same typeface, no handwriting - we have only the content and "temperament" to go by. Well, no, that doesn't work, either: some females (I've found, most often teenagers) are quite aggressive on-line, even crude, while many males of all ages are moderate and correct in speech, polite, thoughtful and tolerant. That leaves just content - and that, too can be deceiving: many men are concerned about traditionally women's issues, and many women are not.

Do you see the difference? I can't see the difference.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on October 2nd, 2016, 6:02 am 

I think this incident is very revealling to how difficult gender differences are to deal with. On on side we can accuse someone of pandering to gender bias and then the person saying so is also doing the exact same thing and the debate rears its ugly head. Racism and sexism have these things in common. If we talk about differences of communication between black people and white people we will find differences, but due to cultural and historical significance.

This is a very tricky and interesting topic. All the more so because we cannot measure it nor turn to a handful of studies to draw a clear conclusion. I think it is well documented that women say more words per day than men in general. I say this like I know it is true, but I have no idea how this conclusion was arrived at and how unbiased it is.

This shows the rule of authority. If something is said with enough authority it is widely believed. Given that we live in a patriarchal society we can assume that most authority is male authority. In what particular areas of study/work do women fair better than men. If we looked there then it may be reasonable to assume to see some interesting habits of female speech in an environment where they are the popular authority?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby vivian maxine on October 2nd, 2016, 7:43 am 

Could the whole problem be that neither side can hear what the other side is saying? Or, maybe, more likely, that neither side wants to hear what the other side is saying? We all think we are "communicating" but we are not. We would all protest that we are listening but we are not. We post our thoughts and wait for the responses not to get other views but to find something in those responses that we can pick at. Then we talk some more - just talk - but we get nowhere.

I am not referring to this thread in particular. This applies wherever you follow a conversation. Need I mention the Thanksgiving dinner environments? Our brains are so concentrated on defending our side of an issue that there is no energy left to really absorb and understand where the other side is coming from and why he/she feels differently. And there is definitely no effort to engage in a mutual solution.

We - all of us. Listening involves more than just hearing the words. It involves understanding and allowing other opinions. We? Do we state our opinions and close the bar? Or do we exchange opinions and search for compromises? I suspect too many of us do the former. "My opinion is right and the rest of you are all wrong." Aristotle said it best: "Know thyself" Someone else had another cliche: "There is a reason we have two ears but only one mouth."

And there is a reason I've avoided this debate, despite my strong opinions on the matter. I will allow this much: Whatever it is like today, it is certainly better than it was 100 or 300 years ago. We are making progress.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on October 2nd, 2016, 9:44 am 

vivian maxine » October 2nd, 2016, 6:43 am wrote:Could the whole problem be that neither side can hear what the other side is saying? Or, maybe, more likely, that neither side wants to hear what the other side is saying? We all think we are "communicating" but we are not. We would all protest that we are listening but we are not. We post our thoughts and wait for the responses not to get other views but to find something in those responses that we can pick at. Then we talk some more - just talk - but we get nowhere.


Yes, that is often true, but I don't believe it's more true of one gender or another, nor more true of women talking to men or men talking to other men or any combination. (Note: I do not restrict communication to two clear-cut genders.) Men tend to interrupt three times as often as women - and interrupt women more often than they interrupt another man.
I watched a video of a debate the other night: there were four men and one woman on the podium. She never got a word in. I have also been in conversations where people of either sex rolled over each other's jokes and comments, shouted one another down, corrected someone else's statement, contradicted each other, bickered and argued and called each other names. Men do tend to be louder and more aggressive, but women have their own non-verbal communication arsenal: innuendo, gesture, facial expression, laughter. In my experience, women listen more attentively to men than the other way around, unless a man is talking about machinery or a strongly held conviction, in which case, no man can look so totally overcome with ennui as a wife indulging a husband. At parties, the conversation is generally dominated by the least inhibited and most opinionated, until everyone else falls silent. Mostly, though, well-brought-up people wait for somebody to finish whatever long-winded utterance they'd embarked upon, then jump in with a pre-composed remark of their own, which is not responsive or relevant to the other speaker's.

BadgerJelly -- I think it is well documented that women say more words per day than men in general.

Ah, but it all takes place in a context, does it not? It's determined at least partly by their social functions and necessary interactions with other people. If more women are employed in health-care, service industries, education, etc., then they have to talk more than men in a noisy machine-shop or alone in an office cubicle or driving a delivery truck three miles between encounters that each require the exchange of ten words, max.

Anyway, that's all about speech in the hearing world. (It would be really interesting to see how gender and argument works among deaf people using sign language.)
Moderated forums are quite a different matter. We cannot interrupt or shout (though some people WILL use all caps, instead of the handy italic and bold tools) The quote function helps to focus one's response to a particular statement by another person and make it seem more interactive, if we choose that mode. Or we can type a prepared thesis. Or anything. But we can't interrupt and we're not allowed to be overbearing or rude. On the more permissive boards, there is usually one poster who makes a career of doing just that: rude one-liners. If there is more than one, they'll jeer in tandem, or feud among themselves, with the result that serious posters gradually leave that forum. I've been reprimanded (and once, suspended) for sarcasm, but I still prefer a tightly-moderated discussion board to the Thanksgiving-table style.

I believe those features do make for a far more equal arena. And also more comprehension: it's easier to pay attention to, and take in the meaning, even the nuance, of printed word than spoken. (Well, unless it's spoken by that English narrator who did the geography documentaries.....)
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby vivian maxine on October 2nd, 2016, 10:22 am 

serpent wrote:We cannot interrupt or shout (though some people WILL use all caps, instead of the handy italic and bold tools)


Ah! Now you can help, please. The Quick Reply does not afford us the "handy" italic or bold tools. I wondered if "Full Editor" would get those but didn't want to fool around and lose what I was posting. What do you know about this? Thanks.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Braininvat on October 2nd, 2016, 10:25 am 

Whatever text is in Quick Reply, automatically transfers to Full Ed when you click it. Has italics, etc.

(terse male reply) heh.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby vivian maxine on October 2nd, 2016, 10:31 am 

Braininvat » October 2nd, 2016, 9:25 am wrote:Whatever text is in Quick Reply, automatically transfers to Full Ed when you click it. Has italics, etc.

(terse male reply) heh.


And it will not lose the text? Good to know. No one can mess up on a computer taster than I. It's my one great success in life. :-)

Thanks.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 2nd, 2016, 12:49 pm 

kudayta » October 1st, 2016, 12:37 pm wrote:Athena,

I think stating that the administration here banned mtbturtle because of gender is libelous. And implying that men are incapable of reasoning with women is excruciatingly sexist.


Okay now you are doing the same wrong mtbturtle was guilty of doing. You have made the wrong assumption of the meaning of what I said, and got defensive. You want to try that again by checking out what you think I hold to be true?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 2nd, 2016, 1:00 pm 

Braininvat » October 1st, 2016, 12:50 pm wrote:
kudayta » October 1st, 2016, 11:37 am wrote:Athena,

I think stating that the administration here banned mtbturtle because of gender is libelous....


....and false. I know the banning mod, and that person's reasons for banning included violations of basic forum rules of discourse. There were no "male [or] female values" at stake, just hostile and uncivil treatment of members. Courtesy and respect are human values, not specific to one gender. I would request that any further comments off-topic be taken to Feedback, ok? I do not know if that mod is around today, but would reply eventually.


You did the same mistake. I am pointing this out because you are all are doing what mtbturtle did, but in your minds mtbturtle is the only one doing this wrong. This nightmare of misunderstanding comes in with racism and sexism, or any "us against them" situation. People assume attacks that are not intended and get defensive, and this is why there is a gender, or a gay, or a racist problem in some of our communications. It is just assumed the other person, who is "not one of us", is attacking us.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 2nd, 2016, 1:20 pm 

vivian maxine » October 2nd, 2016, 5:43 am wrote:Could the whole problem be that neither side can hear what the other side is saying? Or, maybe, more likely, that neither side wants to hear what the other side is saying? We all think we are "communicating" but we are not. We would all protest that we are listening but we are not. We post our thoughts and wait for the responses not to get other views but to find something in those responses that we can pick at. Then we talk some more - just talk - but we get nowhere.

I am not referring to this thread in particular. This applies wherever you follow a conversation. Need I mention the Thanksgiving dinner environments? Our brains are so concentrated on defending our side of an issue that there is no energy left to really absorb and understand where the other side is coming from and why he/she feels differently. And there is definitely no effort to engage in a mutual solution.

We - all of us. Listening involves more than just hearing the words. It involves understanding and allowing other opinions. We? Do we state our opinions and close the bar? Or do we exchange opinions and search for compromises? I suspect too many of us do the former. "My opinion is right and the rest of you are all wrong." Aristotle said it best: "Know thyself" Someone else had another cliche: "There is a reason we have two ears but only one mouth."

And there is a reason I've avoided this debate, despite my strong opinions on the matter. I will allow this much: Whatever it is like today, it is certainly better than it was 100 or 300 years ago. We are making progress.


You are pretty feminine for a guy. Do you seriously think anyone will take you seriously if you talk like that? You think talk like that will get respect as a man? Like one of the biggest problems in getting anyone to follow Jesus was his femininity, until martyrs gave Christianity a more heroic image. And for sure in ancient times it was obvious the Persians could be conquered because look at how they dressed, and they recited effeminate poetry! Yuk!

I am sure we are biologically different and even if we weren't our experience of life is different. Will everyone here who thinks feminity is a good thing, please raise a hand?

This thread is a result of a conflict I was having someone. I want permission to be different from a man, so I brought in research that says we are different. Is anyone here okay with a woman not being as a man? Next question, is there value in that difference? Might the female bring to society something that is vitally important and different from the agreed importance of what men bring to civilization?

And the really big question, might making feminity taboo have something to do with military might and neglecting the needs of children? How about it being okay to bomb a nation without being prepared to protect women and children, not only on the day of the day of the bombing, but for the next serveral years while the country is rebuilding, so fleeing mothers are not forced into prostitution to keep their children alive? How many men are identifying with these mothers, living in a culture where they could be stoned to death for what they doing to eat and and feed their children?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BioWizard on October 2nd, 2016, 1:42 pm 

Hi Athena. Let me follow up here. I did not ban the user for any specific thread, be it the one you originally assumed was the reason for banning or any other particular thread. That said, I don't know how much of your original perception of the role of gender-bias in the ban carries over to the discussion in this thread. But that's for you, not me, to decide.

Athena wrote:You did the same mistake. I am pointing this out because you are all are doing what mtbturtle did, but in your minds mtbturtle is the only one doing this wrong.


I agree with your principle. As colleagues, leaders, etc, we always have a large number of possible routes to follow to resolve a conflict or recover a standard (ex: transactional vs transformational, compete vs cooperate, yield vs avoid, and so on). Given that the exact choice of management decision (and style) needs to factor in time and resource constraints, the decision is likely to be geared towards efficiency (and away from idealism) at least some of the time. One must thus resist the urge to automatically pin all the blame on a banned user (not just in this particular situation, but in general), tempting as that may be. Failure to do is so would be a general managerial failure, not just a gender-sensitivity failure.

I have said as much in the feedback post where I declared the ban, and admitted that mistakes are likely to have also been committed by the moderators (myself included) at various points (please check the feedback forum if you haven't already). I left all the threads there and said that I will not be moving, editing, or deleting any of them - at least partly for the sake of situations like this one.

On the other hand, and while on the subject of fairness, we must also resist the urge to commit the fundamental attribution error when we judge moderator actions given prior knowledge of their genders, ethnicities, etc, because then we would not be doing any better, would we?

I do not wish to delve any further into the details of that particular ban here, because at that point it does become an irrelevant forum feedback issue, and my feeling is that you can find much more relevant case studies for your thread. Though again, that's your decision, not mine.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 2nd, 2016, 2:33 pm 

Serpent » October 1st, 2016, 3:51 pm wrote:

But if you, who are aware of and sensitive to gender differences in communication, and yet did not suspect from mtbturtle's style of communication that she was female, how would it raise a red flag in retrospect? If it was her style that had caused friction, why didn't you notice how it was different from male posters' style, and what did a [presumed male] moderator object to that you did not?


I like your question because requires putting the chain of events in order and this is so left brain, and not right brain, emotional.

First, I was trying to get permission to be feminine and not like a man.
Second, I found research explaining the gender difference in communication.
Third, I saw a post from mtbturtle resulting from her being offended and wanting action taken, and that is the first time I thought mtbturtle must be a female, because the reason for that communication was the female purpose.

In discussing factual information, the gender difference remains hidden most the time. Both genders can argue facts. The difference is not this skill, but at times "the purpose of communication". When the purpose of her communication was clearly the female purpose, I could identify her as female, and being able to do was the result of reading the research.

PS I don't think this is off-topic, because it's not the content or the contentious post(s) I'm asking about - it's the style of communication. Mtbturtle did express a personal female point of view on one political issue, but I never noticed anything gender-specific in her style; not choice of words, grammar, sentence structure or cadence.


Thank you for this comment because it is supportive the important argument about if we are different or the same. Smile, this stuff can be really crazy making, like a picture of an illusion where at one time you see two people kissing and the next you see the vase. We are the same and different. And I suspect when women become educated and have careers they become more and more as men because our brains are pliable and the neuron pathways we use the most become the strongest. That is why I used the term "domestic female". If we are studying math and science and then using this information in a career, our neural pathways are going to be completely different from the women who sacrifices herself to be the extension of her hushand's and children's needs and wants. Different social positions, different neurological development.

Of course, with written communication, we don't hear volume, pitch and pronunciation, which does level the field - also for any males who may be considered insufficiently masculine in the walking world. When it's written communication - and all the same typeface, no handwriting - we have only the content and "temperament" to go by. Well, no, that doesn't work, either: some females (I've found, most often teenagers) are quite aggressive on-line, even crude, while many males of all ages are moderate and correct in speech, polite, thoughtful and tolerant. That leaves just content - and that, too can be deceiving: many men are concerned about traditionally women's issues, and many women are not.


Oh boy, oh boy I am jumping up and down with joy. There was a time when I thought it very important to hide my gender because I was sure men are taken more seriously than women. That is changing in a dramatic way, but it appears to me many are trying to avoid making it obvious they are female, or horrors feminine men! But even more exciting about what you said is how the written word changes the geography of our brains different. I have read, when we transitioned from picture writing to letters, male dominance was increased because of the different demand on neurons. I suppose I could look for research that supports or opposes what was said in a book about language and gender dominance, but can we just throw this in with learning math and scientific thinking, versus responding to human needs even before the husband or child or other relatives, or neighbor, is aware of having the need.

Do you see the difference? I can't see the difference.
Oh yes, I see a difference and wonder why some women appear more aware of the difference than men? However, I suspect a modern career woman would not.
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