Though the accepted stereotype of a nonstop talker is always that of a nattering old biddy, a new study shows that men actually talk more than women on the whole. But while men are more gabby overall, the level of talkativeness is largely situational: According to an article in the November issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Review, "The researchers discovered that, with strangers, women were generally more talkative when it came to using speech to affirm her connection to the listener, while men's speech focused more on an attempt to influence the listener," which is a fancy way of saying that women like feelings while men are into power. Groundbreaking!
Though Melanie Ayres, a co-author of the study, asserts that the findings "compellingly debunk simplistic stereotypes about gender differences in language use," it seems more like the study is reinforcing gender stereotypes instead of breaking them down. Ayres does conclude, however, that use of language is more of a social than a biological construct, so perhaps if women were encouraged to use language to influence others rather than emotionally connect with them, we wouldn't always be portrayed as frivolous gossips. Regardless, I can't tell you how many times men have told me that I'm being "loud" when I vehemently express an opinion. Have you ever heard anyone tell a man that he needs to quiet down?
Men Talk More Than Women Overall, But Not In All Circumstances [Science Daily]