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Men are Chatterboxes too!

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Who speaks more, men or women? Most people wouldn't hesitate to say that women speak more. There are many jokes about how much, and what, women talk about. But research which some may find surprising indicates that both men and women speak more or less equally.

Four hundred university students in the United States and Mexico participated in the study. Researchers recorded the students' daily conversations for several days. After analyzing the data, they discovered that both sexes are in a statistical dead heat when it comes to speaking. Women used a little more than 16,000 words every day. Men used a little less than 16,000 words. The report admits, though, that the numbers could change as men and women grow older, because the study only tracked university students.

The current idea that women are chatterboxes just isn't true. In addition, men only speak when they have something important to say also isn't true. Both ideas probably come from cultural and political discrimination against women. But the study explains that men gossip just as much as women. Men and women also talk equally about unimportant topics. But women actually talk more about relationships.

A psychologist at Yale University has a somewhat different opinion. She suggests that the idea about men and women probably come from arguments between the genders. Unfortunately, the study doesn't know how speaking patterns change in an argument. But other studies have supported the stereotype that guys become quiet and women talk more in an emotional conflict.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. Women talk more than men.
  2. Men only speak when there's something important to say.
  3. Men and women love gossip equally.
  4. Men talk more about relationships than women.
  5. Men: Women talk too much! // Women: Men don't talk enough!

True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. According to the article, many people believed that men speak less than women.
  2. More than four hundred students participated in the research.
  3. The report isn't sure if women speak more than men later in life.
  4. Men don't gossip as much as women.
  5. According to the article, men tend to become quiet when they argue with women.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Who do you think speaks more, men or women?
  2. What other stereotypes are there about men? Are they true or false? Why?
  3. What other stereotypes are there about women? Are they true or false? Why?
  4. What do you think of stereotypes in general? Are they good, bad, based on reality? Why do you think so?
  5. Will this research change the men's and women's opinions of one another? Why/not?

Google Search: Type "chatterboxes" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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