COM 102



GenderDifferences in Communication

Theterm gender denotes the differences expected by either culture orsociety between males and females. In contrast, sex is the biologicaldifference observed in men and women. Consequently, while one’sgender roles can change, sex is permanent (DeVito, 2016). Thedifferences in the communication of the sexes are explained byvarious theories such as the biological, socialization and socialpowers.

Accordingto the biological theory, there is no difference between gender andsex nevertheless, the latter brings about the communicationdifferences observed between in groups (Edwards, 2016). Hormones andchromosomes bring about these characteristics. There are identicalhormones in both men and women, but they occur in different amounts.Testosterone is the primary sex hormone, and it occurs in largeramounts in males than in females. It causes masculinization andgrowth of the male sex organs. Moreover, it causes the exhibition ofthe behaviors associated with this gender such as aggressiveness,competitiveness, and having high sex drive. Females, on the otherhand, have less amount of testosterone. As a result, they are morepolite and less aggressive, as well as have good listening behavior. Barrett and Davidson (2014) demonstrated the evidence behind thistheory by exposing testosterone to female monkeys in their prenatallife. The researchers discovered that the animals became moreaggressive and rough than the rest of the females. The same resultshave been demonstrated in experiments done on rats.

Thesocialization theory also explains the differences in theinterpersonal communication of the genders. The premise argues thatgender can be influenced by nature, as well as through nurturing.According to Barrett and Davidson (2014), when biological males andfemales are born, the society labels and treats them differently, andthis plays a great role in the development of their sexualcharacteristics. The labeling of the child, as either a boy or agirl, causes special treatment of the child by the people, whichleads to the development of their interpersonal communicationdepending on the way they are being treated. The supposition assumesneutrality of gender before children attain the age of 3 years and,after that, they can take any sexual characteristics that influencetheir communication, by how they are treated. For example, abiological girl dealt with as a boy will develop communicationfeatures that align to the sex group. Barrett and Davidson (2014)demonstrated this issue in an interview they conducted on someparents. For children of almost the same size, most parents describedthe boys as stronger and well coordinated than the girls.

Thesocial power also plays a significant role in the development ofinterpersonal communications. The theory argues from a psychologicalperspective that the brain evolves to tackle the challenges that theindividual is faced with (DeVito 2016) and as such based on the rolesthat the biological sexes encounter they develop differentcommunication. This is demonstrated in the traditional division oflabor where men were the breadwinners of the family while motherswere left at home to look after children. This made men moreaggressive in their communication in accordance to the requiredskills in their work and therefore the differences in communicationbetween the two sexes.

Inconclusion, this paper has described the theories that try to explainthe gender differences in communication. These are deterministicmethods, which suggest that people have minimal control of theirbehaviors. Men, for instance, are more aggressive naturally whilewomen communicate in a polite way given that they are instinctivenurturers. In the modern world where there are equal opportunitiesfor all people and increased diversity, gender is now considered acontinuum, but not as two groups defined by the male and femaleduties.


Barrett,&nbspM.,&amp Davidson,&nbspM. (2014).&nbspGenderand communication at work.Aldershot, Hants: Ashgate Pub.

DeVito,J. A. (2016). Essentialsof human communication (9thEd.).Boston, MA: Pearson.

Edwards,&nbspJ.&nbspL.(2016).&nbspGenderand political communication in America: Rhetoric, representation, anddisplay. Lanham, MD: LexingtonBooks.