Gender Myth Exposed: Women DO NOT Speak More Often than Men
Women talk more than men, right? This seems to be a basic, universally-accepted rule that points to just one of the many ways in which the sexes differ from each other. But some studies suggest this rule is a myth, shattering what men and women have long thought they understand about each other.
The controversy of who talks more resumed in late February 2013, when a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience stated women talk more than men based on simple biology. Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine report girls’ brains contain higher levels of a protein produced by a gene that’s partially responsible for all humans’ ability to vocalize. This protein, called FOXP2, helps girls learn to speak and read more quickly than boys. Hence, the gift for language starts at a young age.
Many people, however, argue this simply isn’t true. Women don’t speak more than men, comparatively speaking, if you believe the evidence presented by other studies. In 2007, for instance, research published in Science reported that men and women actually use the same approximate number of words per day.
Turns out, the sexes are head-in-head in terms of word count - 16,215 from the women compared with 15,669 from the men. Pennebaker said that, in the end, the most significant difference was in what men and women talk about: For ladies, it’s other people, whereas men are more inclined to discuss concrete objects.
From where, then, did the myth come that men don’t talk? Some speculate a statistic in Louann Brizendine's book The Female Brain claiming women speak 20,000 words and men only 7,000 was cited and spread over time.