Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Men talk nineteen to the dozen

Men talk nineteen to the dozen

Women might chatter incessantly, but they are easily overpowered by the incessant rants and ravings of men. A new study has revealed that men talk twice as much as women at social gatherings. Hans Jørgen Ladegaard from the Institute for Language and Communication at the Southern Danish University, recruited a group of undergraduates to record and analyse conversations at dinner tables, kindergartens, elementary schools, study groups, and companies to find gender differences in communication. The research lasted for five years, and disproved the popular notion that women, not men, are the more talkative gender. 'Men talk more than women. They hold long monologues about their own experiences and are seldom interrupted,' Ladegaard told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten. He said mend did two-thirds of the talk around the family dinner table, as well as in companies and at public events. 'The pattern is surprisingly consistent,' Ladegaard said. The study revealed women as active listeners, who ask their husbands and friends about their feelings and experiences, ensuring a smooth, continuous conversation. For women in general, conversation is a goal in itself, a social event, the study found. Ladegaard said that when a woman talked with her female friend, they cooperated to keep the conversation going. Both contributed equally to the flow of talk. Men, on the other hand, only made questions during a conversation when they felt they needed more facts, otherwise letting the other conversationalist finish his or her story.

'Men like to talk about competitive issues like sport, and they compete internally by telling a story that surpasses the one before,' Ladegaard said. He said men rarely interrupted other men, but did not hesitate to cut women off, and did not fear to appear confrontational. 'Men are not afraid to say things like they are, while women are more cautious,' he said. Gender role researcher Kenneth Reinicke of the Roskilde University said he found the conclusions surprising. 'I often hear that men struggle to get free space without talk when they come home from work,' he said. 'I'm surprised to hear that men do most of the talking in the home.' His colleague, Annette Borchorst at the Aalborg University, warned against establishing stereotypical definitions for men and women, as men differed from one another, just as women did.


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