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“Troubles Talk”: Effects of Gender and Gender-Typing


Effects of gender and gender-typing on communication styles were examined in 62 male and 110 female college students. Participants were asked to rate the likelihood of giving certain responses to a friend's problems as well as the likelihood of feeling certain emotions when a friend gives them advice or sympathy for their own problems. Men and masculine people were expected to be more likely to respond to a friend in a way that reduces interpersonal intimacy; women and feminine people were expected to respond in a way that enhances interpersonal intimacy. Although a few gender differences were found, participants' level of expressive/nurturing traits (“femininity”) was related to more responses than was gender. The importance of examining gender-linked traits and not just gender when studying communication patterns is emphasized.

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Correspondence to Susan A. Basow.

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Basow, S.A., Rubenfeld, K. “Troubles Talk”: Effects of Gender and Gender-Typing. Sex Roles 48, 183–187 (2003).

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  • communication styles
  • gender-typing
  • gender
  • interpersonal communication