Despite all the lore, a new study finds
sexes do the same amount of gabbing
Stereotypes tell us that women are the chattier sex, reeling off detailed verbal accounts of emotions and events while men brood in front of the television.Now a scientific study is taking aim at that idea by finding the daily number of words spoken by male and female college students is virtually the same.
The researchers were inspired to look at the issue because of a statement that pops up from time to time as a truism in the popular media: that women use two or three times more words a day than men, say 20,000 for women versus 7,000 for men.
They were skeptical."If there had been that big of a difference, I would have seen it," said James Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin who had been looking into what people talk about after emotional experiences. "So it occurred to me to look at the data and see if that was really true. Sure enough, there was just nothing there."
In the study, published in the journal Science, students from the United States and Mexico were outfitted with portable digital recorders. Taping 30-second snippets every 12.5 minutes, the recorders allowed for unbiased monitoring of normal daily conversations, as opposed to the more artificial or limited settings of previous studies.
This from the Chicago Tribune.