Have you ever had a conversation where you were left thinking that gender differences may have created a misunderstanding?

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In this assignment, you will begin to think about the effect that gender has on your general everyday conversations. Answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever had a conversation where you were left thinking that gender differences may have created a misunderstanding?
  • Have you ever thought to yourself that individuals of the opposite gender think differently than you do?

It is a common stereotype that men are more comfortable with stats, or so-called report talk, like a box score in a sporting event, whereas women are more comfortable with rapport talk, or conversations regarding feelings. This gender stereotype is one example of the potential effect of gender on general communication styles. It shows some gender differences that can affect all areas.

A 2007 study conducted at the University of Chicago showed how stereotypes can actually impact math performance. Even if a person doesn’t believe a stereotype is true, but does believe other people believe it to be true, performance can be impacted.

Answer the following questions:

  • Are these stereotypes even accurate?
  • Are gender differences in communication real or simply a result of theoretical fiction?

This assignment will encourage you to consider the effect of gender on your own interpersonal communication and the communication of those around you.

Tasks:

Think of an example of a conversation or a discussion in a situation at work, on television, or in a movie where gender differences in communication were readily apparent. In your response, address the following:

  • Provide a brief synopsis of the conversation.
  • Explain what role gender played in the conversation.
  • How would this conversation be different in light of a person’s age?
  • How have gender stereotypes and/or gender roles changed?
  • Discuss how either the Muted Group Theory or Gilligan’s model could be used to explain the gender differences. Click here to read the article

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