The Gender Struggle: Communicating In Relationships

1213 words - 5 pages

How do men and women communicate clearly when most of their ways of communicating are so different? In today's society, language plays a major role in defining gender. "Male-female conversation is cross-cultural communication," according to Deborah Tannen in her article "Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers.(491) I believe this statement is true. Men and women are in two completely different worlds when it comes to communicating.John Stossel, with ABC News, conducted a test with the help of researcher Campbell Leaper, of the University of California. The test showed how boys and girls deal with people differently. They made lemonade, "but instead of putting in sugar, we deviously put in salt - lots of it" (Stossel). According to the test results, "The different answers that the boys and girls gave us when we asked them if they liked the lemonade spoke volumes" (Stossel). When John asked the boys how the lemonade tasted he got these responses, "It needs some sugar," "It taste terrible," "Eech!" John said that he would have responded the same way also. According to Leaper, the boys responded just like he thought they would because, "Boys are allowed to talk back at their parents more than girls are, to assert their will more" (Stossel). John thought the girls would respond just like the boys did, but he was proven wrong. The girls said things like, "It's good," and politely drank away even if they had to choke it down. He had to push them to get the truth out. When he asked one girl as to why she said she liked the lemonade, she responded with, "I didn't want to be rude to you" (Stossel). The others responded similarly. Most boys do not worry about not being rude. They also tried another test by wrapping a "disappointing gift," which was a pair of socks and a pencil, in nice paper. The responses were that similar of that to the lemonade. The girls were polite and the boys just down right rude. "This is one of the situations where the boys probably should be behaving more like the girls," said Susan Witt, who teaches childhood development at the University of Akron" (Stossel). She says that, "boys and girls respond differently in situations like these because we parent them differently" (Stossel). The children were asked to describe themselves as well. The girls generally said that they were, "nice," when the boys described themselves as, "talented," "smart," "good at math," or "funny," but rarely said nice" (Stossel). According to Witt, "both funny and nice are good, but often girls are too eager to be nice, and boys too direct" (Stossel).The next question to ask is it just social or biological and can parents change their children? A known fact is that indeed, boys and girls are different because of the X and Y-chromosomes. Girls have XX and boys are XY. However, being different goes beyond just X's and Y's. Its socialization, which means parents and society treat kids differently based on certain characteristics, which in this case...

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