You may have seen this quote in several “fact websites” and self-help books: women use an average of 20,000 words a day while men speak approximately 7,000 words a day. But how true is this statement?
Well, as you might have guessed, it’s not. There is no evidence to validate the claim that women speak on average 20,000 words per day and men only 7,000 words per day. But the true question here is not about those two specific figures. The true question is: Do women really talk more than men?
Let’s see what scientists have to say. (the article continues after the ad)
We found three (3) different studies dealing with this oft-debated question. Interestingly, each study came up with a different answer. Let’s see them separately:
THE ONE THAT SAYS WOMEN DON’T TALK MORE THAN MEN
In 2007, a study led by Dr. Matthias Mehl and published in the scientific journal Science, researched 396 people (210 women and 186 men). Each person had an electronically activated recorder that automatically recorded 30 seconds every 12.5 minutes – hence capturing a total of 5% per day.
Their findings: women speak 16,215 words per day and men speak 15,669 words per day. This result, in terms of statistical significance, is not even remotely close to different.
THE ONE THAT SAYS WOMEN DO TALK MORE THAN MEN
In 2003, a team from University of Maryland conducted a study with a sample of 10 boys of girls aged 3-5. Their project was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, however, even the team that carried out the research agreed that we should not draw big conclusions from a study with such a small sample size.
Their findings: girls use roughly 13,000 words more than boys. Researchers attributed that difference to a 30% higher Foxp2 protein in girl’s brains – a protein also known as ‘language protein’.
THE ONE THAT SAYS “IT DEPENDS”
In 2014, a study by the Northeastern University that was published in the journal Scientific Reports, studied 133 adults in either relaxed or professional settings. Each person had a device about the size of a smartphone, that captured and measured social interactions.
Their findings: it depends – women talked more when it comes in casual conversations while men talked more in long conversations. Men were more likely to dominate professional conversations when placed in a group of six or more people.
So, do women talk more than men? Most probably not (the only research that suggested so had a sample of 10 boys and girls aged 3-5 years old). This myth is based on a stereotype with no valid sources to backup the claim.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Myth Or Fact: Sandwich Was Named After Earl of Sandwich Who Was Eating Food In This form So As Not To Leave The Gaming Table
Photo: wjxbh / Pixabay, Spencer Selover / Pexels
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Gender Jabber: Do Women Talk More than Men? | Women really do talk more than men (13,000 words a day more to be precise) | DO WOMEN TALK MORE THAN MEN? IT DEPENDS