Sex Roles

, Volume 50, Issue 7–8, pp 491–504 | Cite as

You Need to Understand My Gender Role: An Empirical Test of Tannen's Model of Gender and Communication

  • Renee EdwardsEmail author
  • Mark A. Hamilton


In her popular book on gender differences in communication, Deborah Tannen proposed that women and men interpret messages along different dimensions (intimacy and control) and that these differing interpretations make intersex communication difficult. In the present study, we contrasted Tannen's model with a more complex model that incorporated gender role as a factor that influences the interpretations of messages. Causal modeling of data from questionnaires (N = 192) administered to predominately European American university students revealed stronger support for a complex model than for the basic model.

sex differences gender role Deborah Tannen Bem Sex Role Inventory message interpretation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesLouisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge
  2. 2.Department of Communication SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs

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