1. her book, language and woman’s place, she


Do women and men talk differently?  There are and have been many interests in the
gender linguistic differences. Many might suggest that women gossip more or men
have the tendency to swear more than their opposite sex. These scenarios are
still believed by many people but by saying that men do not gossip and women do
not swear, we are stereotyping. By asking the simple question, if men and women
talk differently? We are dividing or putting them into two different categories
of male and female.

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Through this report, I will be analyzing the
differences between the linguistics of the two genders by looking at the wealth
of research that has been done on this topic. With regards to Terminology, sex
is a biological distinction between male and female, whereas gender is putting
them into the category of masculine and feminine and what the individual
identifies them as. Over the past decades many have published books and
journals to discuss the differences and similarities between the two genders.


Since Lakoff’s work on, language and women’s
place in 1975, linguists have approached language and gender in various forms.
The different approaches that they have suggested include deficit, dominance,
difference and dynamic. The deficit approached was introduced due to regards
that there was something wrong with women’s language, and that if women wanted
to be taken seriously they had to learn how to speak and confront like men. The
second is the dominance approach; this approach looks and characterizes men as
dominant and women as subordinates. This approach focuses on the idea that men
have more power in their speech compared to women. The third approach talks
about the difference. This idea clearly mentions that men and women belong to
different groups. The forth approach which is also the most recent is known as
dynamic approach.

In the first approach, the deficit model was
mentioned by Robin Lakoff and she describes male language as stronger, more
prestigious and more desirable in her book. She argues that women are
socialized into behaving like “ladies” and according to her being “ladylike”
takes the power away from them. In her book, language and woman’s place, she
talks about some examples regarding how women tend to talk, for example that
they tend to use tag questions, or apologize more and avoid coarse language.

The second approach being the dominance, in this
approach the female sex is seen as the subordinate or the weaker group whose
difference in speaking results from the male figure dominance. However a study
was conducted by William O’ Barr that contradicts the dominance theory. His study
took place in a courtroom where he analyzed the judge and the witnesses. Their
findings showed that the language difference it is not caused by gender
difference but rather it was caused from the power differences.

The third approach is called the difference
approach, which is differentiating men and women as belonging to “sub-cultures”
as they have been socialized to do so since their childhood. Girls are brought
up playing with dolls and flowers and with color pink, whereas boys are given
toy cars and action figures and are put into sport classes. This then results
in difference in communicative styles of both genders. A
research carried out by Laserna ET. Al 2014 showed that girls tend to be more
expressive in their language whereas boys tend to be less expressive. They
showed that girls used more words such as “like I mean, you know”. However this
difference fades away once they have completed university education. This
provides strong evidence that these differences in gender language are cause by
cultural learning. Boys are generally brought up to be strong, not to cry and
hide their feelings. On the other hand girls are taught to be expressive and
show their emotions.

The last approach is called dynamic approach, it
is the latest approach and the most used one to this date as the previous ones
have been outdated throughout the years.





As mentioned earlier people are being
stereotyping and placing women and men into different categories and suggesting
that they speak differently. I had done an activity in my presentation that
showed this is true, as for one phrase there was a nice emotive word used and it
was thought to be said my a women and in the other phrase a vulgar word was
used and this was thought to be said by a man. It is also very important to
distinguish between sexes as gender as they do not mean the same thing. Sex refers
to the biological aspect whereas gender implies to the psychological, behavioral
and cultural aspect of being masculine of feminine. There have been 4 approaches
that linguist have categorized language difference into, the first and most outdated
one being the deficit model which implied women are ladylike and men are strong
figures when comes to speaking. The next was the dominance model, followed by the
difference and the most recent one called the dynamic approach.


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