Male and female spoken language differences: Stereotypes and evidence

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Abstract

Male speech and female speech have been observed to differ in their form, topic, content, and use. Early writers were largely introspective in their analyses; more recent work has begun to provide empirical evidence. Men may be more loquacious and directive; they use more nonstandard forms, talk more about sports, money, and business, and more frequently refer to time, space, quantity, destructive action, perceptual attributes, physical movements, and objects. Women are often more supportive, polite, and expressive, talk more about home and family, and use more words implying feeling, evaluation, interpretation, and psychological state. It is concluded that a comprehensive theory of “genderlect” must include information about linguistic features under a multiplicity of conditions. (59 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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