AOS 2 unit 4 journal: Conversational differences between Men and Women

Click here for a link to the article.

Title  Conversational differences between Men and Women
Author  Mark Davies
Publication  davies-linguistics
Key Ideas (Point Form)
  • Men use language to convey information where as women will more often use language to establish and maintain relationships.
  • Women interpret language in terms of intimacy and relationships.
  • Men discuss issues primarily for solutions where as women discuss issues to be consoled.
  • Men discussion revolve around who is the most dominant, e.g who is the best at.. or who is the most knowledgeable.
  • Men give less supporting cues to the speaker where as women will give supportive cues to the speaker.
  • Men give more direct commands where as women give more indirect command. Women respect negative face needs more.
  • Men use teasing and bantering to show friendship
  • Women will try to avoid conflict and increase their friendship by showing solidarity.
Feature of Language  Negative and Positive face needs.

The use of minimal responses, listening noises.


Aspects of the Course this Article Relates to.  Social and personal variation in language according to factors such as gender and interests
Features of language that contribute to a sense of individual identity and group membershipThe ways in which people draw on their linguistic repertoire to gain power and prestige, including exploiting overt and covert norms

the use of informal language in
– encouraging intimacy, solidarity and equality
– maintaining positive face needs

My opinion on the Article’s comments.  This articles points out very generalised differences in the language usage of male and females. The point that males will more often be more straight to the point when it comes to conversation and just use language to carry a message is fairly spot on. Men are more comfortable being in silence then women and therefore their language is more concise. I disagree on the point that Men interpret language in terms of independence and superiority this does occur but men will just as often interpret language in terms of relationships.
Quotes  “Male and female experts and non-expert pairs. Experts talked more than non-experts, but male experts talked more than female experts.            Non-experts gave more supporting feedback (uh huh, I see) than experts, except that female experts talking to male non-experts gave more feedback.”

“Men use opposition such as teasing, harassing, bantering, wrestling to show friendship (Boy teasing girl he likes). Bragging and one-upmanship is not looked down upon.

For women this is confrontational and shows antagonism not solidarity.”

“This state of affairs means that men talk a lot and women politely listen.”


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