Postby ionicbitterness » Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:01 pm

The facts used in scott's book are compelling, but I'm becoming more skeptical, as I read about some things in pertaining to neuroscience and sex differences. Based on what I've read, some people over-interpret papers that actually need more investigation. And scott's book features some of these stats.

He says on average females use 7,000 words a day and males use 2,000 words a day, but I don't see any papers that actually show this with methods and what not. The girls blab more than guys thing is heard a lot according to one researcher who wrote "The female brain," says females use 21,000 words a day and males 7,000. Well, upon closer inspection, a linguist finds no papers with exact word counts.
This 1993 review studied all the data:
"It is shown that the widely held belief that women talk more than men is unsupported in the literature. Of the studies reviewed that examined mixed-sex interaction, the majority found either that men talked more than women, or that there was no difference between men & women in amount of talk. Approaches to understanding these findings are explored, with one theory - status characteristics theory - highlighted as most helpful in understanding gender differences in amount of talk. The effect of the research activity on the amount of talk in each study is explored, with studies divided into those that used formal task activities, informal task & nontask activities, & formal nontask activities. Most studies reported either that men talked more than women, either overall or in some circumstances, or that there was no difference between the genders in amount of talk. In each of these contexts, the findings are explored in light of the status characteristics theory. It is concluded that rather than viewing the overwhelming tendency of males to talk more than females as further evidence of domination & exploitation of power over women, the different goals for interaction, to which both men & women are socialized, should be considered in the context of social structure."

He reviews some studies and says he found 9 thousand words per day for a woman to 6 thousand for a man. That's a far cry from what some of these studies suggest. He also found in individual conversations b/w men and women, men talked slightly more or the same. The difference occurs in that at points males just feel like watching the football game, reading the paper, etc., and women tended towards chatting, but in individual conversations this is not this variation, and the sexual word budgets do vary, but not by the margins that this author and others are claiming.

He also dissected some other claims in books about sex differences, and found some very sloppy stuff. ... 03420.html

The author also says the reasons why males don't express love is innate and physiological, not social or cultural. Well, it's not entirely sound to compare a father expressing love to a child and a husband expressing love to a wife, but I was struck by a study that showed fathers today are much more likely to tell their children that they love them than twenty years ago. Well fathers today can't be that biologically different from fathers twenty years ago, at least in terms of the brain functions the author's talking about, and yet they're much more likely to tell their kids they love them? It also showed that having an involved father made it much more likely for the fathers themselves to tell kids they loved them, which means that how often your father says "I love you" may matter.

Also, Freud didn't say biology is destiny, anatomy is destiny.
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When you're right, you're right.

Postby Scott Haltzman » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:09 pm

Hi Iconic bitterness.

Kudos to you for your close examination of my writing. I am properly taken to task on the spoken word citation. Generally, I only referenced primary resources for my book, but occasionally I relied on secondary references (Other books that cited studies). In the case of the number of words spoken, as the link you provide points out, the Peases of Australia had cited that a number of times, and their book does not have citations for each of their facts.

Since I have published my book, I have written to the Peases requesting the original reference, and have not heard back.

And yes, you are right, Freud did say "Anatomy is Destiny." While the translation is not correct, and does tarnish my crediblity, the intent of the comment in my book doesn't change signficantly when you supplant what I wrote with the proper translation.

Finally, men's behavior is both innate and cultural; I don't intend to discredit non-biological (or anatomical :wink: ) reasons that men differ from women, just to give biological reasons some attention. Thanks for the interesting information about saying "I love you." I think many men are searching for an inner feeling that goes along with those words, and many are succeeding.

I'm flattered that you took the time to read my book carefully. I hope the areas of less than stellar research that you have uncovered do not tarnish the general thrust of the book for you. If so, then I have done you, and probably a number of other readers, a disservice. :(
Scott Haltzman
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