09 November 2007

The Myth of Mars and Venus

A notion has sprung up in the last decade or so that men and women use language differently - even that they are psychologically and genetically hard-wired for language in different ways. This notion has solidified around the expression 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus', which was the title of a book which became a best-seller in 1992. This current book is Deborah Cameron's exploration of that idea from the perspective of an academic specialist in the field. Not to hold back on her conclusions unnecessarily, she points out that the notion is complete rubbish. There isn't any proof or justification for it in any of the published research. There are only vague 'surveys' and pop-journalism which make claims which evaporate under the scrutiny of rigorous examination. So the question immediately arises - why is this myth so widespread and enthusiastically accepted as a universal truth? ... Read more >>

more LANGUAGE books


skipper said...

It's what I always suspected actually. But the fact is that gender does influence communication. For example, could we say that women are more able to express feelings than men? I would have thought, yes. Clearly what we lack is a proper study which the popular book was not.

mantex said...

She confronts that issue as well - men DO talk about their feelings just as much as women. But they talk about them in different ways and circumstances than women.

I've got a spare copy of the book - so knowing how keen you are on promoting gender equality and removing all traces of sexism from society, I will pass it on to you at the next meeting of the Men Hugging Trees group in the pub.