Sex Lies And Conversation

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Socio-linguist Deborah Tannen illustrates that communication differences within men and women in “Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other.” Tannen provides an anecdote to describe the same conversational problems that happen on married couples. Tannen states different communication styles of men and women cause misunderstanding or even ruin their marriage. Tannen also provides the solution of understanding “cross-cultural” differences can improve male and female relationship.
In the first half of her essay, Tannen illustrates men and women communicate differently since they are raised at a young age. Little girls exchange their secrets to retain their friendship. Women maintain their friendship by sharing life stories and expressing feelings. In addition, women expect their husbands to be a listener as the best friends do. According to Tannen, “For women, as for girls,
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She compares the “physical positon” between male and female during a conversation. Women talk face-to-face, while men look everywhere. The “physical position” cause women to consider men are not listening. As Tannen states, “The impression of not listening results from misalignments in the mechanics of conversation” (264). Besides, Tannen claims that men change a number of topics in a conversation, but women stay one topic instead. The drawback of “[s]witching topics is another habit that gives women the impression men aren’t listening” (264). Finally, men as listeners do not make noises is another habit that women believe men are not listening. Linguist Lynette Hirschman found that women make more listener-noise, such as “mhm,” “uhuh,” and “year,” to show “I’m with you (qtd. in Tannen 265). Women expect listeners to express opinions or agreement or give comfort. On the other hand, men keep silent because they do not tend to argue with women in the

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