Myth—Women Talk Too Much

One of my  summer classes at Salem  State University–Grammar and Usage– included reading and making independent conclusions on several chapters  from the book

 ‘Language Myths’ by Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill

One of my selections was the following and I thought it was interesting enough to share with my readers….


Discussion Subject: Myth #6 (page 41)

Women Talk Too Much

 by Janet Holmes


Outline of Presentation

The evidence put forth by Holmes is that most available evidence of research suggests it is actually men that  talk too much. Not women!!!

Yes, Men generally dominate talking time!


Research included various environments

100 public seminars researched showed that during 93 of the seminars men talked more, while only during seven women dominated the conversations.

A British company had four men and four women in influential positions: men not only talked more but they were vocally domineering and patronizing.

Studies of classrooms show that male students dominate classroom talk.

So, why are women stereotyped as “Talking too much?”


It seems that talk and conversation serves different functions in different contexts

  • Competitive environments
  • Social Status
  • Power Seekers


Holmes suggests that we should watch or attend a political or community meeting and time the talk time of males vs. females to prove the point.

Studies also show that even in informal settings men talk more than women do, but women are more likely to talk in relaxed social environments.

The topic of conversation is also related to talk time. Men’s talk is more informational and opinions. Women are supportive and agreeable during conversations.

So…why is it that many think women talk too much?

Some Facts

  • Feminist women challenge traditional roles and talk more often than men talk.
  • Women talk more when the female population is greater than males in attendance
  • Women talk more among family and friends: often to maintain or develop connections.
  • Women talk more during interviews



Do women talk more than men do?

It depends on the situation, social role and familiarity of the topic of discussion

Keep in mind that there is a difference between talking to someone and talking at someone!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s