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Michael Grindstaff Gender Differences Essay

2065 words - 9 pages

Gender Differences

Michael Grindstaff


Michael Grindstaff
Gender Differences
Gender Differences

Gender stereotypes are strong in our culture and even put preconceived notions in our minds of what profession we will be when we grow up. The differences in men and women’s brain do show men are better at mathematical jobs than women, however, it should not deter women from wanting to be engineers. Stereotypically, girls are soft spoken, gentle, caregivers, on the other hand, boys are outspoken, direct, and confident. These stereotypes are embedded in our minds from when we are little, even impacting our thoughts of which gender should occupy which profession. We ...view middle of the document...

Humor is another way we interact with our colleagues. Humor can be a positive force in workplaces when it builds cohesion, reduces stress and increases communication. There is even evidence that humor when used properly increases productivity and creativity. On the other hand, humor can be a cause of humiliation, distress and repression in the workplace. The way in which humor in the workplace is used between men and women are also different. Women use humor to build solidarity, they are more about connecting with others. When addressing men, women should use a form of self-enhancing humor, which builds their self-esteem (Cruthirds & Romero). Women also find sexiest jobs more offensive, this could be because women usually are the brunt of sexual jokes. When men use humor it usually to impress or emphasize similarities with others. When addressing women, men should use affiliate humor, which enhances social interaction, such as, funny stories and inside jokes.
The way in which men and women nonverbal communicate is surprisingly quite different. Mehrabian, first drew attention to the importance of nonverbal communication with his conclusions that facial expression, body movement, and voice tone relay 93 percent of the message to the receiver. In nonverbal behavior women are often more skilled then men in reading nonverbal messages, mostly facial cues (Graham & Jennings). Women use more direct eye contact in conversation to create a relationship and connection while men usually take that as a direct challenge to their power or position. An interesting finding is that male bosses tend to touch female secretaries more often than vice versa, possible to show their power. Women tend to nod their head to show that they are listening, not necessarily that they agree with the person. Men leave the conversation thinking that a head nod means agreement and surprised when women didn't agree at all. “When a woman is speaking to a man and he does not say anything and stays in neutral body language to show that he is listening, a woman will interpret that as the man being bored or not understanding what she is saying” (Lieberman). This can convey to the woman they are not listening and make her uncomfortable and repeat what she is saying or ask the man each time if he understands what she is saying. The man then interprets that as insecurity, or talking too much and which then lead him to think she is not assertive or confident to be a leader. These are just examples of how due to our gender differences we can misunderstand our co-workers. “Women will also approach a man from the front while men often approach from the side at an angle, which is how each of them tends to stand or sit when talking to others. Men interpret the face to face as too personal, or aggressive and women will interpret the talking side to side as though he is not being up front or even hiding something from her” (Lieberman). These are all-important differences to remember...

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