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The Gender Communication Handbook: Conquering Conversational Collisions between Men and Women by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D., Claire Damken Brown, Ph.D.

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CHAPTER 2

He Speaks, She Speaks

What Different Things They Say

When I talk about women’s and men’s characteristic ways of speaking, I always emphasize that both styles make sense and are equally valid in themselves.

—Deborah Tannen (1994, p. 23)

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between popular myths and the reality of sex differences in speech style.
  • Identify examples of women’s polite forms of speech.
  • Identify examples of men’s task-oriented forms of speech.
  • Examine the underpinnings of gender linguistic styles.
  • Create the awareness that one style is not preferred over another style.
  • Identify strategies, such as an androgynous approach or code switching, to enhance speech communication between the sexes.

Introduction

We know women and men are ...

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