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Communications In Observation


Women are more noticeably shy then men. Non-verbally, their
"body language" seems to communicate feelings of great
uncertainty and self-consciousness. For example, I observed
a woman in a bus en route to the Cherry Hill Mall. Her and
a young man sitting directly across from her were engaged
in what was apparently a mutual flirt. But the man seemed
much more confident and cocky than did the female. For one
thing, he was calm and relaxed. The woman, however, kept
her arms folded over a purse that she clung to rather
tightly. Moreover, the female had a strong tendency to look
down more often than the male and although her admiration
for him was obvious,-- she seemed to be trying especially
hard to conceal it.
Further evidence of greater communicative differences exist
between males and females in various other social settings
as well. Consider, for example, those individual employed
in customer service-related capacities. While in Shoprite,
I noticed that female customer service representatives were
more apt to offer immediately friendly assistance than were
the male attendants whom I observed on another occasion.
Males are not as cocky nor as confident in this sort of
situation; their eyes tend to dart around the area while
the eyes of a woman remain focused upon the eyes of the
customer. The man seems to communicate with fewer
smiles--apparently they have to get past a certain
"ice-breaking" point before they will feel comfortable with
a genuine look of happiness.
Verbally, the actual process of speech is also quite
different between males and females. The former usually
tends to have a more base-orientated voice and a faster
rate of speech while the latter is more calm and
soft-spoken. Men seem to speak more nasally and women seem
to have a better control over the English language. Over
the course of a few days, I noticed hearing significantly
fewer "ums" and "errs" from women than I did from men. This
did not necessarily indicate that they presented themselves
more confidently, just with greater fluency. Men have a
tendency to use their hands more often while speaking than
do their female counterparts. In one observed instance,
several men and women had gathered in a local pizzeria and
the amount of hand motions and gesture that the guys were
using seemed to be infinite. One guy practically drew out
an entire picture of his car in the air while describing it
to the group of friends. Meanwhile, the girls' hands
remained on their food or their drink or on the table.
Girls nodded much more than boys-- but made no other
gesture with as much frequency.
Finally, it can be inferred from my observations that
certain cultural models causes the witnessed patterns of
speaking and communication. Girls are "taught" to be shy an
inferior-- and this is evidenced in their non-verbal
coyness while speaking in a one-to-one situations with
males. But men are taught that over-happiness is "queer"
and so smiles are not nearly as common on the male's face
as they are on the female's face. Both sexes certainly seem
to enjoy talking-- but each is more comfortable in their
own different scenario. 


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