A Gallup poll recently confirmed that men and women both believe that it is women who are most likely to possess the gift of gab. Some even believe that women are biologically built for conversation. This widespread belief is challenged in new research.
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The article* describes a recent set of meta-analyses conducted by Campbell Leaper and Melanie Ayres. These analyses collect all of the available evidence from decades of scientific study and systematically combine the findings into an overall picture of the differences between men and women regarding talkativeness.
When we first read this headline, we figured that they meant men talked more and were including things like sportscasters, politicians and coaches, all predominantly male. They did not mean that. The poll indicated that men talk more to strangers and their wives (no mention how many men had multiple wives) and women spoke more to college classmates and children. Out of those four recipients of talk, we would only have guessed that women talk to children more. Maybe men talk to strangers more because men typically make the first move romantically. We would really love to see the questions that led to this poll’s findings. And we’ll bet that Clint Eastwood would not be happy with this result.
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