Overcoming the Language Barrier of Different Gender
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Overcoming the Language Barrier of Different Gender
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.10.04 00:00
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▲ [Photo provided by Naver.com]Even when looking at the same painting, men and women appreciate it differently.

By Song Hye-won

   Differences between men and women have long been a topic of interest to  human beings. Sometimes the differences seem so big, they breed misunderstandings. Conversation then has to intervene and resolve the problem. However, as each gender communicates in a different way, collisions occur, making a deep hole between two individuals.
   Why do men and women talk differently? According to Professor Cho Sung-won (Psychology), who is currently teaching Gender Difference in Psychology, there are three possible reasons for this discrepancy.
   First, in the process of socialization, women and men each adopted more woman-like or man-like characteristics. Second, differences in social status are reflected in one? speech. Commonly, people of high rank are assertive, while people at a lower rank tend to avoid using direct discourse. Finally, social reaction is different towards each gender. Society responds positively when men use direct discourse. However, it is more accepted when women say ?lease,?and speak in a roundabout way. Thus, these processes balance the discourse of men and women.
   As women and men talk in a different way, misunderstandings occur in relationships. Sohn Soo-kyung (English Lang.& Lit., 2) confesses her problems with her boyfriend saying, ?ll I want him is to listen and say ?t? going to be fine.?But he only tries to solve the problem.?As problems as such often occur, many students visit the Sexual Harassment Counseling Center to ask for help. The center has recently conducted a group counseling class, ?earning How to Communicate in a Dating Relationship.?
   ?n communication, listening is equally important as speaking,?says Kho Kyung-hee, a researcher at the center. She adds that misunderstanding starts not from taking in the words as they are, but interpreting them in your own way. Using a commonly misunderstood word, ?o?as an example, Kho says, ?ome men believe that a woman? ?o?means a yes.?However, she adds, ?t depends on the situation whether it is an ironic expression or not.?Kho says that the most important thing in communicating with your date partner is to determine what you really want. Then, express clearly what lies in the bottom of your heart.
   Kho gives a bittersweet advice by saying, ?ovies and TV shows are full of romantic words that ring true in our hearts. However, in reality there is no prince charming that knows and says exactly what you want to hear. We have to cope with the ones that are real."

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