Are Different Patterns of
Communication in Women
and Men Innately Determined?
YES: Louann Brizendine, from Th e Female Brain (Morgan Road
Brenda ]. Allen, from Difference Matters: Communicating
Social Identity (Waveland Press, 2004). Long Grove: IL.
As another example, it turns out that no study has actually counted the
number of words used by women and men in natural conversations, that is,
not until July 2007. In contradiction of Brizdendine’s claim that women utter
200,000 words to men’s 7,000 per day, Matthias Mehl and his colleagues
found over of period of 1 7 working hours women average 1 6,2 1 4 words and
men averaged 1 5,669, a highly statistically nonsignificant finding (Science,
Currently there i s less interest in examining sex differences i n language
and more emphasis on how people use language in everyday life to create
and maintain social realities. Mary Crawford points out that feminists have
worked to create a more gender-balanced language through the coining of
new words and putting old words to new uses. She notes that language is
Daniel ]. Canary and Kathryn Dindia, Eds., Sex Differences and Similarities
in Communication: Critical Essays and Empirical Investigations of Sex and
Gender in Interaction (2nd ed. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006).
Mary Crawford, “Gender and Language,” in R. K. Unger, ed., Psychology of
Women and Gender (pp. 228-244), (New York: john Wiley & Son, 200 1).
K. M. Galvin and P. ]. Cooper, Making Connections: Readings in Relational
Communication, 4th ed. (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Co., 2006).
Diana Ivy and Phil Backlund, Gender Speak: Personal Effectiveness in
Gender Communication (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003).
Charlotte Krolokke and Anne Scott Sorenson, Gender Communication
Theories and Analyses: From Silence to Performance (Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage, 2005).
Deborah Tannen, Talking from 9 to 5 : Women and Men at Work (San
Francisco: HarperCollins, 200 1 ) .
]. Wood, (200 1 ) . Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture,
4th ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 200 1 )