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Is Your Conversation Style Feminine or Masculine?
The following activity is loosely based on Conversation Analysis readings, so nothing is hard and fast doctrine. It seeks to be thought-provoking and there may be a grain of truth in some of the statements below. Remember
also that men and women express themselves differently according to the make-up of the conversation group. That is, the group may be mixed gender, all male or all female, hence the type of exchanges will be different-the atmosphere too. Furthermore, the group may be friends, work-mates, academics, a meeting ....
If nothing else, it should generate chat.
Put yes (Y) or no (N) for the sentences below.
Generally speaking, when I converse with people I know:
- I am a blunt person
- I criticise people
- I am a little sarcastic
- I ask a lot of questions in a conversation, to find out about people,
their thoughts, etc
- I rarely admit I am wrong about something when I am in a conversation
- I make eye-contact and use body language in conversations
- I generalise
- I get personal with people in conversations; I may even gossip about a
- I compliment people spontaneously
- I use four-letter words, coarse language
- I like to talk about myself
- I am a good listener
- I prefer to talk about non-personal topics, such as unemployment, the
economy, current affairs ...
- I usually talk about personal problems, people, their way of being,
hopes, desires, my family ...
- I get personal when I write a letter to someone, but not face to face in
- I help to keep a conversation flowing, I am not provocative,
controversial, confrontational ...
- I like to get my say, get in a few comments, no matter what the topic
- I don't assert something, but I might preface a comment with "I think,
I suppose, perhaps"
- I talk a lot
- If I ask a question, it is generally a yes-no answer I am looking for
- I don't mind talking about a situation where I was embarrassed,humiliated and so on
** Results ** (A personal view)
Men, it is said, are more assertive, sarcastic, long-winded, non-personal and so on, while women are collaborative, personal and happy to take a back seat in many chats-it is said. So, working on the previous assertions-and
more-you can score the test the following way:
4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 21 would be more feminine traits-generally speaking The rest, male.
Once again, the activity should not give rise to aggressive exchanges.
Submitted by Gerard Counihan
Copyright (C) 1999 by The Internet TESL Journal