"Men speak one way, women speak another."  To what extent is there truth in this claim regarding the English language?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer to this depends on what scholars you believe.  It may be that your teacher or your text takes a position on this that you are expected to repeat.  I would advise you to try to make sure.

Some scholars argue that men and women use English differently.  For example, they argue that women use more phrases that make their speech sound less assertive.  They are more likely to say things like "I think" or "sort of" than men are.   Other scholars see similar things, arguing that women use English in ways that are in keeping with their sex roles.  In other words, they argue that women use English in ways that go with the idea that they should be less assertive and less aggressive than (and maybe even a little subordinated to) men.

Other scholars, however, argue that these claims are false.  They say that there is no data to prove that women actually use different syntax or vocabulary than men do.

As is often the case in academia, scholars disagree on this issue.  You may want to determine which side your teacher takes in this debate.