Do Women REALLY Talk More Than Men?

There is an assumption that women are generally more talkative than men. While this may be true in private settings — women tend to talk more to each other than men in personal conversations — this is definitely not true in a more formal mixed-gender environment.

In fact, studies have shown that men dominate conversations, taking up 75% of the conversation and leaving only 25% of the talking to women. This issue isn’t just about men speaking more than women, though; men also tend to talk over women. This is especially prevalent in the workplace when male bosses are not frequently interrupted by their employees, while male subordinates continuously talk over their female bosses. Other ways men dominate conversations is through mansplaining, only directing information and questions to the other men in the discussion, and blatantly ignoring what a woman has to say.

Growing up, women are taught to behave in subservient ways, such as taking turns while speaking or refraining from using vulgar language and cursing. Meanwhile, men are not held to this standard and if they behave in inappropriate ways, they are dismissed because “boys will be boys.” This double standard has resulted in women restricting themselves from speaking more because they are afraid of being viewed as aggressive. Additionally, if a woman complains or stands up for herself, she is more likely to be negatively viewed than her male peers. These all contribute to the female voice getting drowned out in a male-dominated conversation.

The next time you are in a conversation where you find your voice powerless, utilize the three C’s of assertive communication: confidence, clarity and control. Keep your head up high and deliver your information in an easy-to-understand and calm manner. If someone is interrupting or not listening to you, don’t be afraid to call them out. Always remember that your voice matters and you deserve equal contribution to the conversation.