Communications in Observation

Women are more noticeably shy then men. Non-verbally, their "body language" seems to communicate feelings of great uncertainty and self-consciousness. For example, I observed a woman in a bus en route to the Cherry Hill Mall. Her and a young man sitting directly across from her were engaged in what was apparently a mutual flirt. But the man seemed much more confident and cocky than did the female. For one thing, he was calm and relaxed. The woman, however, kept her arms folded over a purse that she clung to rather tightly. Moreover, the female had a strong tendency to look down more often than the male and although her admiration for him was obvious,-- she seemed to be trying especially hard to conceal it.

Further evidence of greater communicative differences exist between males and females in various other social settings as well. Consider, for example, those individual employed in customer service-related capacities. While in Shoprite, I noticed that female customer service representatives were more apt to offer immediately friendly assistance than were the male attendants whom I observed on another occasion. Males are not as cocky nor as confident in this sort of situation; their eyes tend to dart around the area while the eyes of a woman remain focused upon the eyes of the customer. The man seems to communicate with fewer smiles--apparently they have to get past a certain "ice-breaking" point before they will feel comfortable with a genuine look of happiness.

Verbally, the actual process of speech is also quite different between males and females. The former usually tends to have a more base-orientated voice and a faster rate of speech while the latter is more calm and soft-spoken. Men seem to speak more nasally and women seem to have a better control over the English language. Over the course of a few days, I noticed hearing significantly fewer "ums" and "errs" from women than I did from men. This did not necessarily indicate that they presented themselves more confidently, just with greater fluency.

Men have a tendency to use their hands more often while speaking than do their female counterparts. In one observed instance, several men and women had gathered in a local pizzeria and the amount of hand motions and gesture that the guys were using seemed to be infinite. One guy practically drew out an entire picture of his car in the air while describing it to the group of friends. Meanwhile, the girls' hands remained on their food or their drink or on the table. Girls nodded much more than boys-- but made no other gesture with as much frequency.

Finally, it can be inferred from my observations that certain cultural models causes the witnessed patterns of speaking and communication. Girls are "taught" to be shy an inferior-- and this is evidenced in their non-verbal coyness while speaking in a one-to-one situations with males. But men are taught that over-happiness is "queer" and so smiles are not nearly as common on the male's face as they are on the female's face. Both sexes certainly seem to enjoy talking-- but each is more comfortable in their own different scenario.