chapter  4
4 Pages

5 Sex differences in academic writing

It is commonly held that women are more verbal than men. Consequently, there is considerable discussion about whether or not men and women write and speak in different ways. In a major review of the field, Pennebaker et al. (2003) concluded that women, in general, use more words related to psychological and social processes, and that men refer more to object properties and impersonal topics. However, these conclusions, of course, are related to the topics that men and women speak and write about, and how salient these topics are for them. Men and women, when they are talking about specifically masculine and feminine things (e.g. football and cosmetics), do differ in their spoken language, but do they differ in how they write about them?