Advertisement

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
Article

Abstract

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 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

references

  1. Alexander, C. S., & Becker, H. J. (1978). The use of vignettes in survey research. Public Opinion Quarterly, 42, 83-104.Google Scholar
  2. Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162.Google Scholar
  3. Broverman, I. K., Vogel, S. R., Broverman, D. M., Clarkson, F. E., & Rosenkrantz, P. S. (1972). Sex-role stereotypes: A current appraisal. Journal of Social Issues, 28, 59-78.Google Scholar
  4. Burgoon, J. K., & Hale, J. L. (1987). Validation and measurement of the fundamental themes of relational communication. Communication Monographs, 54, 19-41.Google Scholar
  5. Copello, A. G., & Tata, P. R. (1990). Violent behaviour and interpretive bias: An experimental study of the resolution of ambiguity in violent offenders. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 29, 417-428.Google Scholar
  6. Duck, S., & Barnes, M. K. (1992). Disagreeing about agreement: Reconciling differences about similarity. Communication Monographs, 59, 199-208.Google Scholar
  7. Eagly, A. H. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social-role interpretation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1984). Gender stereotypes stem from the distribution of women and men into social roles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 735-754.Google Scholar
  9. Edwards, R. (1998). The effects of gender, gender role, and values on the interpretation of messages. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 17, 52-71.Google Scholar
  10. Edwards, R., & Bello, R. (2001). Interpretations of messages: The influence of equivocation, face concerns, and ego involvement. Human Communication Research, 27, 597-631.Google Scholar
  11. Edwards, R., Bello, R., Brandau-Brown, F., & Hollems, D. (2001). The effects of loneliness and verbal aggressiveness on message interpretation. Southern Communication Journal, 66, 139-150.Google Scholar
  12. Garlick, R. (1994). Male and female responses to ambiguous instructor behaviors. Sex Roles, 30, 135-158.Google Scholar
  13. Gianakos, I. (2000). Gender roles and coping with work stress. Sex Roles, 42, 1059-1079.Google Scholar
  14. Goldsmith, D. J., & Fulfs, P. A. (1999). “You just don't have the evidence”: An analysis of claims and evidence in Deborah Tannen's You just don't understand. In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), Communication yearbook 22 (pp. 1-49). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Gray, J. (1992). Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  16. Green, B. L., & Kenrick, D. T. (1994). The attractiveness of gender-typed traits at different relationship levels: Androgynous characteristics may be desirable after all. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 244-253.Google Scholar
  17. Hunter, J. E., & Hamilton, M. A. (1998). Meta-analysis of controlled message designs. In M. Allen & R. W. Priess (Eds.), Persuasion: Advances through meta-analysis (pp. 29-52). Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hunter, J. E., Hamilton, M. A., & Allen, M. (1989). The design and analysis of language experiments. Communication Monographs, 56, 341-363.Google Scholar
  19. Jones, D. C., Bloys, N., & Wood, M. (1990). Sex roles and friendship patterns. Sex Roles, 23, 133-145.Google Scholar
  20. Maltz, D. N., & Borker, R. A. (1982). A cultural approach to male–female miscommunication. In J. J. Gumperz (Ed.), Language and social identity (pp. 196-216). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Metts, S., Cupach, W. R., & Imahori, T. T. (1992). Perceptions of sexual compliance-resisting messages in three types of cross-sex relationships. Western Journal of Communication, 56, 1-17.Google Scholar
  22. Meyers, R. A., Brashers, D. E., Winston, L., & Grob, L. (1997). Sex differences and group argument: A theoretical framework and empirical investigation. Communication Studies, 48, 19-41.Google Scholar
  23. Michaud, S. L., & Warner, R. M. (1997). Gender differences in self-reported response in troubles talk. Sex Roles, 37, 527-540.Google Scholar
  24. Michel, K. (1994). Conversation on-line: Girls' rapport talk and boys' report talk. Women and Language, 17, 30-35.Google Scholar
  25. Motley, M. T., & Reeder, H. M. (1995). Unwanted escalation of sexual intimacy: Male and female perceptions of connotations and relational consequences of resistance messages. Communication Monographs, 62, 355-382.Google Scholar
  26. Noller, P. (1993). Gender and emotional communication in marriage: Different cultures or differential social power? Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 12, 132-152.Google Scholar
  27. Peterson, C. D., Baucom, D. H., Elliott, M. J., & Farr, P. A. (1989). The relationship between sex role identity and marital adjustment. Sex Roles, 21, 775-787.Google Scholar
  28. Ramanaiah, N. V., & Detwiler, F. R. (1992). Psychological androgyny and the NEO personality inventory. Psychological Reports, 71, 1216-1218.Google Scholar
  29. Ramanaiah, N. V., Detwiler, F. R., & Byravan, A. (1995). Sex-role orientation and satisfaction with life. Psychological Reports, 77, 1260-1262.Google Scholar
  30. Robinson, M. D., & Clore, G. L. (2001). Simulation, scenarios, and emotional appraisal: Testing the convergence of real and imagined reactions to emotional stimuli. Personality and Social Psychologyy Bulletin, 27, 1520-1532.Google Scholar
  31. Shifren, K., & Bauserman, R. L. (1996). The relationship between instrumental and expressive traits, health behaviors, and perceived physical health. Sex Roles, 34, 841-864.Google Scholar
  32. Tannen, D. (1990). You just don't understand: Women and men in conversation. New York: Morrow.Google Scholar
  33. Tannen, D. (1994). Gender and discourse. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Uleman, J. S., & Weston, M. (1986). Does the BSRI inventory sex roles? Sex Roles, 15, 43-62.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations