Sample English Essay on Difference in Men’s and Women’s Talk

Difference in Men’s and Women’s Talk

Male to the female conversation is a cross-cultural communication. This is as a result of men and women being brought up in different worlds. A situation like this can lead to breakup of relationships because each gender has different expectations of the significance of talk in a relationship. In this paper, we are going to focus on an article about “Talk in the Intimate Relationship” written by Deborah Tannen. She explains the significance of communication in a relationship and the big role that culture plays in communication between different genders.

Culture is defined as a combination of patterns and customs from experience. Men and women are raised in different set ups. As they mature these differences, result in different talk expectations. Tannen has provided an example that, in a relationship that has lasted for several years, women expect husbands to understand them without demanding an explanation. In another perspective, men believe that in a long term relationship there should be no misunderstanding and the partners can say anything they want to each other.

Tannen has also discovered that the needs of women in a relationship differ from the needs of men. Women have the urge of involvement because they consider themselves able to be understood without having a say on anything as a payoff. On the other hand, men only demand independence. Women are more likely to adapt metamessages in their talk than men do because of their desire for involvement.

Part 1

According to Tannen, metamessages refer to being indirect meaning during a talk. While men rely more on the real message, women concentrate more on metamessages. The main reason why women concentrate more on metamessages is because they are able to attain more value when involved in the relationship. For instance, a wedding cake on the part of a woman symbolizes a special day while men consider it just an ordinary food.

Tannen claims that women and men have different view and points on any talk because of their focus difference. For instance, a question such as “Where were you” can be one of the meta messages of great interest. Another example concerning difference in levels of talking, as Tannen puts it, is about an argument between Jake and Louise. The argument results in a conflict that turns into a divorce despite Jake not implying that Louise is a bad mother. According to Tannen, all the happening is as a result of responding to different perceptive and different communication levels on metamessages.

The informal tone is spontaneous, more casual and personal. It is usually used when communicating with friends or family. It can also be employed in some business correspondence. For example, “I do not believe that the results are precise” is an informal tone.

A formal tone is less personal than informal tone. It is used when addressing professional or academic issues. Formal tone does not use contractions, colloquialisms or pronouns in the first person such as ‘We’ or ‘I’. The example above should be, “The results are not believed to be precise.”



Part 2

Tannen has characterized the different styles of  men and women talk using a variety of binary oppositions which include: Sympathy vs problem- solving, Rapport vs report, Listening vs lecturing, Private vs public, Connection vs status, Supportive vs oppositional, and Intimacy vs independence

According to Tannen, conversation among women, is all about rapport. It is about establishing friendship and consolidating relationships. A lot of emphasize to the women’s talk is given to what they have in common. The women interaction is non-hierarchical, and they strive a lot for solidarity. She also discovered that women agree a lot with their interlocutor. However, this is culturally variable when engaging in a friendly conversation.

Conversations are different for most men. According to Tannen, men are highly competitive and use conversations as arenas of maintaining and negotiating status. They exhibit knowledge, skills, and performances with the intention of getting attention and preserve it. Storytelling, imparting of information and jokes are also crucial. Men concentrate more on the report than rapport. Conversations are all about talking with a purpose, demonstrating expertise and imparting information.

Tannen has discovered that in most cases men who are talkative and outspoken in groups become uncommunicative and quiet at home. She gives an example of a family in North America. The husband is silent during breakfast and concentrates more on the newspaper. This indicates that men are less interested in engaging in conversation with their wives because they feel they will gain nothing from it. She suggested that men and women have different ideas when it comes to home talks. The conversational talk involves self-display on the side of men. They operate in a framework that is competitive by either losing or winning.

In most cases, couples find each other irritating. Tannen has accounted for this irritation in the form of conversational interaction that is unsatisfactory. An example of this situation is whereby I woman repeat what had been said by someone to her husband. The woman did so because the point was similar to what the husband had previously made and she did to please him. She agrees with the point raised by her husband and expresses her support for his opinion. However, she was shocked by her husband’s opposing view to her contribution: Even when Marge was quite sure that she was showing agreement, to her dismay she discovered that her husband viewed it as a disagreement. According to her husband John, coming up with a point of view that is different is more than contribution than agreement. However, Marge regarded his disagreeing disagreeable. According to Marge, disagreement encompasses a meta message intimacy threat. On the other hand, John does not view disagreement as a threat. On the contrary, he regards disagreement as a symbol of intimacy.

Tannen demonstrated gender differences by grouping individuals in groups of four ranging from children to adult for a video talk. She was interested in checking how they physically aligned themselves including their eyes and their development and introduction of topics. The conversation between men and women differed in every age group. She discovered that the girls in second grade had a lot of things in common with mid-twenties women than the boys in the same age group. Each group was placed in front of a camera in an office and given a chance to carry out a conversational task. The group that consisted of female friends aligned themselves physically with each other and directly looked at each other. They introduced topics for discussion and sustained them for a while. The group that consisted of males particularly young boys aligned themselves with their eyes and bodies much less and established some fragments of talk that revolve much on a wide range of topics.

The six years old girls were well composed and sat close to one another looking steadily into one another faces. The six-year-old boys were not still, and they sat separately casting and fidgeting their eyes around the room and failing to concentrate on each other. Both groups were requested to discuss something serious. The boys were asked to create some faces in front of the camera, exercise on some rude words, tell jokes, tease each other and more so present something new other than the task asked of them. The girls were asked to find a topic that complies with the instructions given regarding something serious.

According to this research regarding the conversational styles between male and female, it is true that women concentrate more on rapport and the supportive and effective function of conversation which is broadly oriented towards the interpersonal. On the other hand, men concentrated more on the informational function of the discussion and report.

Part 3

According to my interaction with women, I would not base Tannen’s research to biases. It is true that the talk between women and men differ depending on the circumstance.

Part 4

Tannen believes that the communication style is affected by the world in which someone is brought up. I agree with her finding because according to an article that was posted in a popular American newspaper, it revealed that American men are silent and most women complained that “their husband do not listen to them any more” and “they also don’t talk to them anymore”. Just as the way Tannen has put it that such stereotypes are as a result of culture, the international journal of intercultural relations written by Spencer and McGovern also conquer with the idea.

According to Spencer and McGovern, people from different cultures socialize differently. Girls and boys begin socializing differently from childhood age to adult age. The social lives of girls revolve around their best friends and are also based on cooperation. On the other hand, social lives of boys are based on competition, and they tend to play in large groups. This is the reason why when they mature and get married their wives want them to be their new best friends. For the men, they expect to form a partnership and do things together. In addition, Tannen discovered that their memories, remembering and listening skills differ because of focusing on different topics, and his finding is well supported by Journal of Intercultural Communication Research written by Neuliep.

Tannen believes that changing the communication style between the partners can help solve the communication problems. I strongly agree with her because in most cases misunderstanding is as a result of one partner not knowing the conversation style of his/her partner. For example, instead of men using “I” when talking to her partner when she can also join him, men should use “We” so as to avoid confusion. This is a case which I have personally experienced with my partner when I tell her “I would like to go for a walk.” She felt I didn’t care for her and didn’t want to include her in our partners’ plan. Tingley, who wrote “Men and Women Speaking Each Other’s Language at Work, ” also agrees with Tannen that changing the communication style when there is a relationship problem is the best solution. The partners will be able to understand each other well even though it sounds otherwise.