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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 4

Women, Men, and Unspoken Messages

The combination of infants’ biological differences and the responses these invoke in caretakers establish very early that sex differences in nonverbal behavior are expected and perceived.

—Clara Mayo and Nancy M. Henley (1981, p. 6)

Learning Objectives

  • Understand differences in women’s and men’s nonverbal behaviors.
  • Explore how facial expressions, touch, personal space, and vocal tones influence messages from men and women.
  • Develop an awareness of first impressions and unspoken messages.
  • Suggest action steps for men and women to improve knowledge and the use of nonverbal behaviors when communicating.

Introduction

We send verbal and nonverbal messages. Verbal messages constitute the words. Nonverbal ...

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