Communication Between Men and Women
English Composition 101
November 5, 2013
The most powerful essay that I have read to date from Patterns of College Writing would be “Sex, Lies, and Conversation” by Deborah Tannen. In her essay, she talks about how men and women have very different communication styles and how this can adversely affect marriage if a common ground communication style is not reached. Political scientist, Andrew Hacker, says “Given the current divorce rate of nearly 50 percent, that amounts to millions of case in the United States each year, a virtual epidemic of failed conversation” (Tannen, 2012, p. 423-424). Tannen says “although American men tend to talk more than women in public situations, they often talk less at home. And this pattern has been wreaking havoc with marriage” (Tannen, 2012, p. 423). In Tannen’s essay, she states that a sociolinguistic approach by which male-female conversation is seen as cross-cultural communication allows us to understand the problem and forge solutions without blaming either party. Tannen describes that there are three common cause of miscommunication between the opposite genders. She describes first how men and women develop separate cultures in youth, with gender separate groups and different social structures. The second common cause that Tannen points out is how body language is commonly misunderstood between genders. Finally, Tannen explains the different ways men and women express themselves and how this is often misinterpreted by the opposite gender.
In Tannen’s essay, she uncovered patterns similar to those described for children’s groups. She pointed out how little girls create and maintain friendships by sharing secrets while boys bond less through talking and more by doing things together. She noted, through observation of both genders, that when girls or women talk, they tend to face each other directly and make eye contact, whereas boys and men tend to sit at...