In the last twenty years, several important works have appeared showing the links between language and gender identity. These studies have dealt with a wide range of phenomena, from the use of abstraction to inflexion (voice up or down at the end of a sentence) to tag questions (" … don't you think?") to the body language that accompanies speech.

Most studies of language difference between men and women indicate that communication typical of most males (and therefore considered male-gendered) is characterized by "control" whereas that communication typical of most females (and therefore considered female-gendered) is characterized by "affiliation": ideas that reproduce the male and female behavior and speech patterns noted by Carol Gilligan, among others. These two styles of communication actually mark only tendencies in men and women who speak—in fact, it has been shown that males from the professional middle class often incorporate components of affiliative speech activities because they are appropriate for the roles that they will fill in their professional lives.



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