The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Men chatter more than women: Study

London, Nov. 10: Men talk more than women, according to scientists who have dispelled the long-held myth that females cannot stop chattering.

Researchers examined more than 70 studies into the conversation habits of the two sexes and discovered that men were more likely to dominate discussions and would contribute, on average, a higher number of words.

However, although the results showed a consistent tendency for men to be more talkative than women overall, the difference was small and the two were nearly equal. The study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review, found that men tended to talk more in conversations between spouses or partners, those that included people of both sexes and situations where the topic involved disagreement.

By contrast, women dominate over men when they were among classmates, parents and children and when the topic of conversation required a discussion of feelings.

Campbell Leaper and Melanie Ayres, social psychologists at the University of California, analysed evidence from decades of scientific research and studies of 4,380 people to reach their conclusions. Leaper said: “Our findings debunk simplistic stereotypes about gender differences in language use.

“The notion that the female brain is built to systematically out-talk men is hard to square with the finding that gender differences appear and disappear, depending on the interaction context.” He said overall “the magnitude of the difference was negligible” but added: “Some men may be using talkativeness to dominate the conversation.”

However, an analysis of 73 studies of children’s conversation found the opposite result, with girls likely to talk more than boys.

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