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Research muffles talk about chatty women

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Hmmmm, so I wasn’t a born motor-mouth, based on my gender. My brother will have to revise his memory bank.





But I’ve been trying to tell him this for years: he may not talk as much as I do, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other guys out there who do. In fact, I know several who can hold their own, conversationally speaking, that is.





It seems that for years we were all misled — by bogus science and comic distortion — to believe that women simply talk more than men. No one is surprised when little girls chatter endlessly, and often people don’t even pay attention; but hear a two-year-old boy talk a lot, and everyone comments as if he’s a budding genius!





However, thankfully, new research has revealed that this comparison — about who talks more than whom — hasn’t been accurately assessed. Surprise! Women and men talk just as much as each other on any given day. True, they probably don’t talk that much to each other — hence, all the relationship problems that come about from a lack of communication — but the recent study conducted on a group of university students, males and females evenly, proves that the difference in the amount of words each gender speaks is, believe it, insignificant.





There are some critics of the findings, however. Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, disagrees, insisting that more extensive research has shown that the speech centres in males and females are different enough to suggest that women are more verbally adept than men.





Aha, so we’re better at talking. That doesn’t necessarily prove that we speak more — just more effectively. That’s why when we (frequently) say to our guys, “We need to talk,” they’d do well, if they listened more often.





Personally, I think that, like many of these blanket statements about human behaviour, it really depends on the individual. I talk a lot, and often — mostly on the phone — but I’m not speaking to dead air. There’s always someone on the other end, and almost half the time, it’s a guy. Whether I’m doing my own research, taking care of personal business, or looking for information, it’s often men with whom I end up speaking. My point is this: It takes two people to have a conversation and, besides my several male friends who could easily talk my ear off, I find other men just as talkative.





The flip side to that of course, is that I know some women who are very quiet and not big talkers.





So really, my brother was right, but not in a universal way, just with regard to me: I was a chatterbox growing up, and I still enjoy a good gab. But that doesn’t mean all women talk a lot.





The myth’s been busted. Stop the jokes about us.



relating@metronews.ca

 
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