Friday, July 06, 2007

News Flash: Women Aren't Chatty Cathys

Remember all the hubbub about that book The Female Brain which carelessly tossed in a so-called scientific figure that “women talk almost three times as much as men.”

Well it’s not true and there even science this time to back it up.

“Stereotypes of Quiet Men, Chatty Women Not Sound Science”

One recorded nearly 400 college students for days and found that members of each sex uttered virtually the same number of words.


The second, an analysis of 63 studies of gender differences in talkativeness, found that men actually yakked slightly more than women, especially when interacting with spouses or strangers, and when the topic of conversation was non-personal.

Even before this study the claim had been pounded to dust and has been subsequently removed from editions of the book. (Language Log has the goods).

But my guess is that the stereotype is going to continue to exist. It will exist (and the pseudo-scientific number will be cited by idiots) because it conforms to some pre-set beliefs about the sexes. I’m sure shock-jocks and cable TV pundits will simply want to belief that women talk more than men and therefore it simply must be so.

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