Communication Differences in Gender


03 Oct 2016 27 Sep 2017

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Communication is an important part of any genders, with verbal and nonverbal communication styles used on a frequent basis. Both types of communications can be independent or used together, and it can be confusing for both men and women if not used correctly so it is important to make sure miscommunication do not by learning. We will be discussing different communication styles in verbal and nonverbal communication used by men and women, and looking at miscommunication that may occurs between genders. To help and explain this and personal experience will be used, and show various strategies to avoid miscommunication, and find possible solution to miscommunication and keep them to a minimal.

Communication Styles

Communication will be different when it comes to genders and these differences do not relate to any specific personal experience of a gender, and research as shown men will typically be direct, succinct, personal and instrumental in their communication, while women will try to relate to things, use emotions, and gain understanding in a personal way. This research fact shows how men will engage in a conversation using information, while women will try to build a relationship. With this in mind it has led perception of gender communication whether it is verbal or nonverbal communication.

General terms and a use of a function standpoint are typical of male’s verbal communication. A functional standpoint is all about exchanging information and reinforcing relationship. With males being more dominant in communication, women until more recently were stereotyped as being submissive in conversation, but differences in language the gender uses are common and communication in relationship with both genders show a contrast in written and verbal communication not related to anyone gender specially.

Verbally both gender show differences in communication, with males in some cases using adjectives that may seem judgmental, and women intensive adverbs. Though many also forget that pitch is common communication difference even if the pitch is not gender specific, it can related to one gender more than the other. Typically speaking women are stereotyped to have higher pitch, while men will have lower pitch sound, even though we know that pitch is not related specifically to a gender. Both gender have specific stereotypes on pitches, like when male uses a higher pitch to not sound feminine, and women using lower pitch when want sound more dominant and credible. Vocabulary use is a noticeable between genders, and seen easily when women are speaking as they will use more diverse vocabulary, while men may not have diversity in vocabulary they will use numbers. Women using communication will commonly divulge information with emotions, attitude, and beliefs, but men will avoid this when possible. According to GenderSpeak “An overabundance of tentative forms of expression in one’s communication can be interpreted as a sign of uncertainty and insecurity. But tentative language may also indicate politeness (Watts, 2003) and may have positive, facilitative uses; these kinds of expressions need not be identified with one sex or the other” (Ivy & Backland, Ch. 4, p. 174).

Both gender will have similarities and differences in their verbal communication, but so will their nonverbal communications. Women are much better at catching nonverbal cues in compared to men, and interpreting cues. Women will commonly use more person nonverbal cue including leaning forward, excellent eye contact to whom they speaking too, while showing more emotional expressions. Men will try change conversation to something with an angle when possible while using less eye contact that shows women will be better at nonverbal communication and staying attuned to them.

Miscommunications and Causes

Miscommunication experience between both genders may vary, but both gender will have their shares of miscommunications. Males will be more direct when it comes to looking for answers and communications, and they typically will avoid feedback, and not looking multiple option when possible. Females like to using expression, relationships, emotions, and feelings when communication will not have solution, with typical closeness in their communication. Women also do not want advice even if they look like they look like they may need it.

It quiet common for males to use conversation to find social order, and try to show their dominance to other in a conversation, but female do not engage in dominance instead they use conversation to be more intimate. Men and women use conversation different and it is important to understand that women tend to have close relationships in their conversation, and will typically seek though, feelings and beliefs, and men want to dominate and find solution in conversation.

These differences in communication between the two gender is one of the main causes of miscommunications, as both gender forget to realize that other gender may not communicate in same styles as their gender. With men using communication to dominate socially and get results when communicating, while women will typical use relationships communication, it leads to both gender needing to realize the difference in communication between them so that miscommunications are left to a minimal.

Personal Experiences

Miscommunication is common occurrence and happen to everyone at some point between men and women, and is also seen quiet often in our societies. IN my personal life I have experience miscommunication and many occasion, and one that would help better understand miscommunication is an argument over a trip needing planning with my girlfriend.

Trip planning is an interesting thing as requires a place to go, cost, duration, and other things that will be needed before a trip can be made. With a male and female planning a trip miscommunication is common thing as both may have different ideas, thought, and communication styles to give their ideas. Though stereotypes for genders can be applied in this type a situation, it is not a factor in this situation that will be discussed.

In planning a trip with my girlfriend there were miscommunication involved, as both wanted to have control of the conversation, and I would be direct about what I wanted, my girlfriend was not direct and try to bring emotions and relationships into the conversation to convey her points. In the process of deciding on location to go, I was more about going towards a natural and exciting place, while she was wanting a romantic quiet place to go, and we would start arguing over this as we were miscommunicating why we wanted to go to these style of places. With this argument we both had different viewpoints and used different communication styles which we were not understanding, and while I would be direct, she always tried use emotion and relationship in the communicating. This went on for a while until we both realized that neither of us were listening to each other and we need a way to communicate that we both could follow and understand.

With us having communication issues we decided to take a breather and try to look at the other person point of view before starting discussion again. In this process I realized she was trying convey her emotion in her communication and bring in relationship, and I may not looked at communicating in this fashion causing miscommunication. After realizing this issue I determine I most try to look at emotional parts of communications, while she realized that try to be more direct would also help and miscommunication were limited on restart of the trip planning discussion. While I was usually more dominate and taking control of discussion in first try, this time around both us try to be equal and my girlfriend took a more dominate role, while I learnt to listen for subtle cues on why she wanted go to a romantic quiet place.

In the example above we both realized that we had issues in communication and how we were trying to get our point across, and adjust our communication to come up with solution and clear communication that would work for both of us. Though we still had some miscommunication that were not uncommon in most cross gender relationships it was excellent learning experience. With the change in communication and understanding our communication were not in sync it help us better understand the other and also be more comfortable without worries of hurting other feeling, while adjusting our communication styles so the other could understand and avoid miscommunication. As stated by GenderSpeak “ In expanding their repertoire of communication behaviors, the sexes can learn from each other’s listening tendencies and unlearn some habits and sex-typed conditioning. While listening to support a speaker is an admirable approach, women can expand their listening ability to more thoroughly track facts and comprehend information, rather than reading into a conversation more than the facts or trying to “take the emotional temperature” of the other person (Beebe, Beebe, & Ivy, 2007, p. 120)” (Ivy & Backland, Ch. 5, p. 203).

Effective Strategies

With any communication misunderstanding will happen and it not bad idea to have strategies should be available to use to solve these miscommunication. From the personal experience above taking break or pause can be excellent way analyze why communication is not working and work on ways to avoid miscommunications, while helping making a communication move forward so future miscommunication can be avoided before they happen. A pause or break is good way to reflect back on the communication see how you will try re-communicate a thought or idea, though this not the only effective strategies. The pause and break method is great strategy as it does give both side the opportunity to reflect on previous communications and while they failed and how they should proceed to communicate so miscommunication can be avoided. This type strategy also make us all realize that both men and women may have different ways to communicate, whether it is verbally or non-verbally, and look for similarities that may be used to help in communicating. It is important in this type strategy to understand that our genders will communicate differently and how we can communicate in the future so less miscommunication will occur. As stated “A limited amount of information about the sexes and listening behavior exists, but a few key sources agree on a major difference in how men and women listen. It’s not that members of one sex don’t listen as well as the other, but the sexes tend to listen for different purposes.” (Ivy & Backland, 2008, Ch.5)

The effective strategy above is not the only strategy that is available, to use when having issues in effective communication between genders. Other good ways to effectively communicate include more contact, relationship negations, social support and assistance, increased rewards, and directional definitional. Each strategy can help keep in keeping miscommunication to a minimal, but it should be realized sometimes it not going to work. Even with many different effective strategies to become more effective at communicating, they’re no set strategy that will work best with any communication and situation, and the strategy required can vary to allow for more effective communication. It not uncommon to look at the best solution to answer and with communication the same rule does apply, but it may not work in a communication situation.


Each gender will communicate differently and it is important that we do understand that sometimes the way we communicate from gender stereotypes and it may not work with the opposite gender. With the many communication styles used by both men and women, and with many of them being similar and different in non-verbal or verbal communication. With women typically using relationships, and men using a more direct approach, both men and women will have miscommunications as they are not realizing the differences in their communication styles. Throughout this paper it has pointed out the various communication styles used by genders and help explain why miscommunication occur who we may avoid them in the future by using various strategies, and learn how each gender may communicate. With many strategies to help with avoid miscommunication it is important to realize that their no guarantee the strategies discussed will avoid the miscommunication completely as sometimes our subconscious may cause the miscommunication which we will not realize.


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Ivy, D.K. & Backlund, P. (2008). Gender Speak: Personal effectiveness in gender

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Rawluszko, M. (2009). Communication in the conditions of diversity. Kobieta, Biznes, (1-4),53-56.

Gore, J. S. (2009). The interaction of sex, verbal, and nonverbal cues in same-sex first encounters. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 33(4), 279-299. doi:10.1007/s10919-009-00741


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