Nope, We Still Can’t Prove Women Talk More Than Men

Claire Hannum / July 20, 2014

Contrary to oh-so-popular beliefs, there is still no conclusive evidence that women actually talk more than men. Different studies have found varying results on the issue over the years — some have even found that men talk more! A recent scientific foray into the subject has found that men and women actually talk about the same amount.

According to New York magazine, a paper called “A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender Variations in Adults’ Language Use” details the work of two researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz [Banana Slugs represent! — Amelia, Class of 2001], who used sociometers to gauge the speech habits of both genders. Sociometers are small sound recorders that get more candid results because they capture conversations in more natural settings than, say, a research lab. The researchers found that results depended heavily on the environment and situation the speakers were in.

The sociometers were used to study two different situations — the first day of a week-long group exercise in a grad school program, and a lunch break at a call center. Women in the grad school exercise were more talkative, but only in small groups. In groups greater than six people, men were chattier. In the call center, women were only four percent more talkative than men. So basically, if we’re trying to figure out how chatty someone will be when we meet them, it’s better to rely on their own social habits for proof instead of their gender (but we knew that already, right?).

[Sage Journals]