Differences in Men and Women’s Communication
Differences in men and women’s communication can create some difficulty when it comes to first impressions, finding a potential partner, and maintaining relationships. Research shows that men tend to be more dominate when it comes to first impressions (Deyo, Walt, & Davis, 2011) and are more likely to talk about their interests, such as sports, rather than self-disclose personal information (Bond, 2009). Women, on the other hand, tend to discuss more personal topics a (Bond, 2009) and assess the man’s mannerisms and characteristics for compatibility (Deyo, Walt, & Davis, 2011).
Why is it so important to understand the differences between men and women’s communication? Being able to understand and identify the differences between men and women’s communication will help initiate and maintain healthy relationships. For example, men and women have different ideas of what is an “effective” first impression. Women tended to use “appearance enhancing strategies” to attract attention; men rated theses attempts as most effective (Frisbee, Dillow, Gaughan, & Norlund, 2009). However, men also used “appearance enhancing strategies” (Toma & Hancock, 2009) but women rated “using resource enhancing tactics or dominance over the competition” as most effective (Frisbee, Dillow, Gaughan, & Norlund, 2009).
Poor communication strategies can cause tentative conversations and further any conflict that has already risen. For example, in mixed-sex conditions, men and women were more tentative when discussing topics that were particular to the other sex (Palomares, 2009). Meaning, that unless the woman was knowledgeable about sports, she would more tentative during a conversation with a man about sports than if she were discussing something of her interest, or vice versa. Communication strategies are also important during conflict. Research shows that relationship satisfaction is directly correlated with long-lasting relationships, and that after betrayal, self-disclosure patterns decrease (Ferrara & Levine, 2009). It is important to understand communication differences and know how to use communication strategies effectively to initiate relationships and maintain them.
As communication scholars, understanding communication differences between gender and knowing how to utilize communication strategies effectively is important because without clear understanding, words and actions can be misinterpreted. This literature review analyzes the communication strategies used by men and women who are looking for a potential partner or seeking to maintain a current relationship.
Because men and women interpret flirtatious communication differently, it can often be misinterpreted (Henningson, Braz, & Davies, 2008). Men tend to be more dominant when it comes to first impressions (Deyo, Walt, & Davis, 2011). They are more likely to talk about their interests, such as sports, rather than self-disclose personal information (Bond,...