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  1. #1
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Default Language and Gender

    Red Herring brought up the connection between language and gender on another thread. Rather than derail that thread, I am pursuing the discussion here.

    What connections do you see between gender and how people use language, including both spoken and written language? I mean here the way people write and speak, not the subjects they choose to discuss. For those of you who speak languages other than English, do you see the same connections there? How much of this is really based on gender rather than on T/F differences?

    For a brief introduction to the topic, see this Wikipedia entry.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #2
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    How much of this is really based on gender rather than on T/F differences?
    Well, much of the Wikipedia entry's examples struck me as differences between conversing from an F function (Fe especially, perhaps Fi + lots of so) versus a T function: for example, asking a question foremost as a request for information versus using questions to balance and move an exchange.

    I'll be interested in what comes out of this thread, and additionally what Fi users think of what differences come up because the "female" examples in your introductory link felt Fe-heavy.
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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webslinger View Post
    Well, much of the Wikipedia entry's examples struck me as differences between conversing from an F function (Fe especially, perhaps Fi + lots of so) versus a T function: for example, asking a question foremost as a request for information versus using questions to balance and move an exchange.
    I'm sure this article is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are several references cited that I want to follow up when I have time. I am curious as to which apparent gender differences in language cannot be correlated with T/F. I think that is a significant aspect of it, but it may not account for everything.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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    Default

    That's an easy one. The pussies tend to write (in general, not as a strict rule) just like they tend to talk; it's more personal and on a subjective level, not to mention with longer-than-average amounts of characters on arbitrary topics.

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    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    The wiki article seems to have a slight feminist agenda, but perhaps rightly so. If all the things they said about guys shutting girls up are true, I'm going to be very upset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I'm sure this article is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are several references cited that I want to follow up when I have time. I am curious as to which apparent gender differences in language cannot be correlated with T/F. I think that is a significant aspect of it, but it may not account for everything.
    My pet theory is that in a seuxally differentiated species there will be one gender which is more aggressive/dominant than the other, and in most human culture it now appears to be the male gender.
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  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I'm sure this article is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are several references cited that I want to follow up when I have time. I am curious as to which apparent gender differences in language cannot be correlated with T/F. I think that is a significant aspect of it, but it may not account for everything.
    I wonder if the causality is reversed. There is a tendency for people to map the MBTI functions to concepts that are already familiar. My impression is that the T/F parameter is mapped to our concepts of male and female stereotypes. This is why the T function dominates the F function online. I think those two functions also map too often to gender obscuring the fact that there are more women who thinking rationalistically and more men who think subjectively than is apparent on the surface.

    I encountered this topic a number of years ago and made some efforts to change my communication style, but eventually gave up and instead changed my environment.
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  8. #8
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I wonder if the causality is reversed. There is a tendency for people to map the MBTI functions to concepts that are already familiar. My impression is that the T/F parameter is mapped to our concepts of male and female stereotypes. This is why the T function dominates the F function online. I think those two functions also map too often to gender obscuring the fact that there are more women who thinking rationalistically and more men who think subjectively than is apparent on the surface.
    Reversed in what sense? I think T/F differences are much more inherent and significant in how an individual thinks and communicates than male/female differences. The latter are tied up in cultural conditioning, which would serve to accentuate the stereotypical traits for each gender and suppress the others. Yes, this might cause F men and T women to be underrepresented in surveys, as well as to feel out of step with society around them.

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I encountered this topic a number of years ago and made some efforts to change my communication style, but eventually gave up and instead changed my environment.
    Can you say more about this? What caused you to want to change your communication style? What changes did you want to make? Why did you give up, and how have you changed your environment? Was this successful in reaching your end goal?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Can you say more about this? What caused you to want to change your communication style? What changes did you want to make? Why did you give up, and how have you changed your environment? Was this successful in reaching your end goal?
    My mother has a submissive style since she was the youngest of eight in a family with a dominant male, and she was a single mother who raised me. As a result I did not have a pervasive male model for speech growing up, and my style both in verbal and non-verbal language is primarily submissive, but this does not reflect entirely my internal processing, which tends to be more detached and objective than the majority of men I interact with later in my life.

    When studying at the university I paid attention to the women who are successful in that environment, and noticed that their speech and demeanor are more masculine than the average woman. They typically have very short hair, a brusque, non-maternal, non-nurturing demeanor, and speak abruptly, concisely, with finality, and in a dominant manner that requires the responder to adapt to their thinking and style. It is not a negotiating style by nature. It is similar to racial minorities taking on the manner and speech of the dominant group in order to be successful in corporate culture. Both groups are successful to the degree they can imitate the white male mannerism and speech style.

    My language use is innately disarming, negotiating, responding. While at the university I began to try to make more concise responses or remain quiet. I also stopped wearing make-up and began wearing some women's apparel that is modeled after male apparel like the suit jackets. In my profession I have had a problem with men either attempting to create a flirtatious dynamic with me and/or becoming contemptuous in their behavior towards me, except for my composition professor who was a completely fair-minded INTP and not influenced by social norms. The individuals who have given me my professional leg-up with honesty, fairness, and respect have been women, and some who are at the top of their fields. These women are quite "masculine" themselves, but have more ability to be objective in their evaluation of gender because they can see a wider spectrum without personal fear of ego harm. The men who are oriented towards dominating women are deeply threatened when one demonstrates more intellectual skill than they do. Interestingly enough their communication takes on a dishonesty and aggression that I would compare to what I encountered with seventh grade girls in junior high. The main problem is that anything that hints of emotions or vulnerability is compartmentalized away or treated dishonestly. This inability to integrate all levels of the psyche in male dominated environments makes it dysfunctional and results in an image focus that produces style over substance. Perhaps that happens in female dominated environments as well, but I haven't been in as many of those. Also, this is just my experience and so has limited universal application.

    As a added note, in reaction to these experiences I have always sought out personal partners who are the clearest, most reasonable thinkers in my environment at the given time. Their communication is more what I would call actual "T" objectivity in most contexts, and perhaps my interactions in those contexts have guided my language use as well.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Default

    I can't help but wonder if N and S preference makes a difference, too, at least in topics.

    For example, among my S women friends at work, topics will include:

    family, fashion, health, friends, relationships, food, gardening, housing, organizing [there are others, too, but these will do]. These are what I call mashed potato and little league people.

    Topics among my N friends may include the above but not as much, however they will include such things as:

    existence of multiple dimensions, Magneto's motivations, spontaneous human combustion, origination of homogeneous societies, commonalities of language origins, [topics are endless, but see type of topics is different]. They are often bored by the mashed potatoes and little league conversations, sometimes left thinking, "How long does it take to establish that little Johnny is cute in his uniform, anyway?"

    My sister is an ESTP and she can go for hours talking about her baby's cute toes, how much her husband's raise is and why the coffee's too strong. I feel bad because I don't know how to respond to what seems to obvious to discuss.

    On the other hand, yes, I also think T/F play a bigger part in style of communication than gender.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

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