Friday, July 06, 2007

Do Women Speak More Than Men?

Apparently not. While there are rumors floating around the internets that women speak 20,000 words per day, while men speak just 7,000, according to a new study, they are false.

A new study published today in Science reports men and woman actually use roughly the same number of words daily.

Researchers used this device to collect data on the chatter patterns of 396 university students (210 women and 186 men) at colleges in Texas, Arizona and Mexico. They estimated the total number of words that each volunteer spoke daily, assuming they were awake 17 of 24 hours. In most of the samples, the average number of words spoken by men and women were about the same. Men showed a slightly wider variability in words uttered, and boasted both the most economical speaker (roughly 500 words daily) and the most verbose yapping at a whopping 47,000 words a day. But in the end, the sexes came out just about even in the daily averages: women at 16,215 words and men at 15,669. In terms of statistical significance, Pennebaker says, "It's not even remotely close to different." He does point out that women tend to jaw more about other people, whereas men are apt to hold forth on more concrete objects—so the stereotypes of ladies as gossips and guys engaging in car talk can live on.

I am curious what the impact of email and text messaging (and hey can't forget about blogs) is. Do those words count? I would doubt they were included, but I wonder how much communication is switching to the written form.

And I guess this means that this joke from my Dad doesn't hold true anymore either.
Q: Why do men pass gas more than women?
A: Because women can't keep their mouths shut long enough to build up pressure.
via SciAm


Audacious Epigone said...

Heh, even in verbosity, male variance is wider than that of females. I wonder what would've become of Lawrence Summers if we knew then what we know now :)

Fat Knowledge said...

You know, I was thinking the same thing when I read it. I wish they would have stated the standard deviation for men and women.

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