What Role Does Gender Play in Communication?

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Gender plays a large role in communication because, according to studies, men and women talk the same, but hear differently. Learn to communicate by understanding how men and women hear differently with relationship advice from a psychologist in this free video on interpersonal communication.

Part of the Video Series: Communication & Understanding Others
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Reka Morvay, I'm a psychologist and I'm going to talk to you today about gender differences in communication. Now research has shown that there are actually very few differences in the way men and women talk. In the public consciousness there's this idea that there are huge differences between what men say and what women say and how men communicate and how women communicate. And it's actually been shown that both men and both woman can be aggressive or loving, nurturing or patient or impatient in their communication. What the real difference is between the genders is what they hear. When the other is talking. Women are much more likely to be sensitive to hidden messages or read between the lines about social implications. Men are much more likely to read between the lines about status implications. And this comes from their differences in society. So if you have this difficult conversation at home, where the woman says or where the man says, wow, I'm so tired, I don't know how I'm going to get all my work done and the woman says, oh I know, it just sometimes seems like there aren't enough hours in the day. And the man says, there you go again, criticizing how much I get done. In this situation the woman was sensitive to the social implications to what the man said and she was trying to communicate a message about how she sympathizes and emphasizes about all the work that he has to do whereas what the man heard was a confirmation of you're not getting enough done. So it is in these situation that it's important to remember that we might hear different things or we might be more sensitive to different messages and what the other person says.

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