Jean stated there are gender differences in language. I agree.
My friends with daughters had lengthy, tell-all conversations and clothing discussions for hours at a time. Coming from a family that told everything to everybody, I was perplexed by my own less than forthcoming offspring—both boys. Sure, they’d casually hint at something important, but pry as I might, I only collected the smallest bits of information.
They’ll hear you if you stand next to them & feed them. Then one day I read a magazine article—not a scientific journal by any means. The article said conversations with girls should be conducted face to face, while conversations with boys should be side by side. As an urban high school teacher, I had lots of out-in-the hall conversations with boys. So I’d lean against the wall next to them and ask away. They answered!
Automatic side-by-side conversations with my sons evolved from our drives to and from sports practices. I loved it and looked forward to the time we spent together—until they could drive.
But the door had been opened. I had simply learned how to talk with boys. And the most important thing they always wanted to tell came at the end of the chat. Their talk was like a wild game hunt in the olden days. They’d set out to tell something, circle the subject with caution, and then pounce. Conversation over. Exiting the scene immediately followed. I soon enjoyed this pattern.
Then I started thinking. Gender differences show up in more ways than linguistics. Take guy shopping. It’s a lot like guy conversation and the hunt again. Here’s how.
Guy shopping begins with planning the time to leave, divined by the television sports schedule and fantasy football draft. The steed (car) is mounted and the trip begins. Arriving at the scene (mall), the prey (pants/shirt) is staked out and then circled. Once captured, it is fitted and skinned from the body in triumph (it fits). Rejoicing at accomplishing the hunt in the allotted single hour, the hunting party beats a hasty retreat home. The new prey isn’t paraded in triumph or discussed, unlike when girls complete their shopping expedition after great gathering, but merely worn at needed intervals.
Jean is correct. I know, because in all sorts of gender differences, I have years of evidence. So what behavior differences have you noticed?
And Jean, one day I hope we’ll have a nice, long chat about them all.