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Film Catalog » Subject Areas » Communication » Language/Linguistics » Gender and Communication: Male-Female Differences in Language and Nonverbal Behavior

Gender and Communication: Male-Female Differences in Language and Nonverbal Behavior

Gender and Communication: Male-Female Differences in Language and Nonverbal Behavior - Image Produced by Dane Archer.
42 min. Color. 2001.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: No
Catalog #: 0010
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Sale Price: $295.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

Gender exerts a powerful influence on all facets of human communication and raises many profound social issues. How does our gender affect us in everyday interactions? Are we treated differently because we are male or female? When we speak to someone, does the way we speak depend on the listener's gender?

This provocative and richly discussible video explores the impact that gender has on both verbal messages (including speech, language, and vocabulary) as well as the nonverbal channels of communication such as vocal paralanguage, haptics (touch), kinesics (movement, gestures, and posture), proxemics (spatial behavior) and other "unwritten" languages.

"Gender and Communication" examines a variety of fascinating topics that will engage students' interest. These include interruptions in conversations, gender bias in vocabulary and language, patterns of inequality in speech and conversation, cultural images of men and women, male-female differences in movement and kinesics, the intriguing communication changes needed by individuals who change from one gender to another, and how gender affects communication patterns in different ways in cultures around the world.

"Gender and Communication" is thoughtful, compelling, powerful, and frequently outrageous. The many topics covered are significant, controversial, and of crucial importance to anyone interested in communication, social interactions, or gender differences. The video is unique in its scope, and it illustrates many gendered forms of both verbal and nonverbal behavior. As just one example, students will never forget the video's radical exploration of the imagery produced by the fashion and advertising industries.

"Gender and Communication" carves new territory in its examination of the impact of gender on key areas of speech, language, social interactions, and nonverbal behavior. This landmark work will become a "must see" for students in a wide array of disciplines.

It was produced by Prof. Dane Archer, of UC Santa Cruz, and is filled with the same characteristic zest, vibrancy, and instructional savvy that have brought widespread acclaim to all of his best-selling videos on nonverbal behavior, cultural differences, and communication.


"Students will love this video, and once you discover it, you won't want to teach your classes without it. This delightful work breaks new ground and covers some 20 extremely important topics. I was particularly impressed by the focus on both spoken language (e.g., interruptions, interaction work, tag questions, etc.) and nonverbal behaviors (e.g., smiling, touching, spacial proximity, kinesics, and vocal paralanguage). These two domains of human communication occur in context, and this new video explores both. The field has needed a compelling introduction to the impact of gender on both language and nonverbal behavior. I predict that Gender and Communication will become a classic teaching tool in numerous disciplines, including psychology, social psychology, sociology, communication, women's studies, linguistics, and anthropology." -- Elizabeth J. Aries, Prof. of Psychology, Amherst College, author of Men and Women in Interaction (Oxford Univ. Press)

"This video is highly entertaining, and it also examines extremely important topics. This will be a great video for getting a discussion on gender and communication going -- especially since the video makes it clear that we don't yet have all the answers and explanations. Always a complex and politically fraught topic, gender differences in communication are presented in a balanced and humorous way, with the points and questions being clear but not oversimplified. One reason Prof. Archer's videos are fun to watch is that the people in them obviously had fun making them. In this case, the guys he asked to pose like women in magazine ads must have had a blast and learned something in the bargain. I loved this section." -- Judith Hall, Prof. of Psychology, Northeastern Univ, author of Nonverbal Sex Differences

"I have never seen so many aspects of gendered communication covered in one film. This is a wonderful tool for teaching and for promoting classroom discussions about how gender inequality is reproduced in daily life. Students are delighted by this highly entertaining film. It covers many forms of verbal and nonverbal communication in ways that students can understand and also recognize from their own experience. It makes students think about how poses, vocabulary, gestures, and talk are structured by gender inequality and linked to gender and power. I recommend the film for any gender-related class in sociology, psychology, women's studies, anthropology, communication, linguistics, politics, literature, writing, and languages." -- Scott Coltrane, Prof. of Sociology, Univ. of California, Riverside, author of Family Man: Fatherhood, Housework, and Gender Equity

"Presents an extremely wide range of empirical examples that demonstrate important gender differences. For example, this video underscores the process through which advertising constructs gender by showing men in classic women's poses. Most students will laugh and most will remember the message. The video is a wonderful resource to spark students to formulate empirical research projects in courses on gender. The sequential attention to different aspects of communication in the video lends itself well to guiding students to formulate hypotheses and generate experiments to establish how gender is achieved through behavior. Most important, the examples in the video demonstrate for students that the many differences in how women and men speak and hold themselves cement women's relatively inferior position in American and other societies." -- Amanda Konradi, Prof. of Sociology, Ohio University

"Provides a wealth of vivid, sometimes humorous, examples and testimony regarding intriguing differences associated with the way males and females speak and behave. This video is guaranteed to stimulate energetic class discussions, even controversy, because it focuses on meanings and values associated with our identity. Interesting and illuminating information from other cultures is also included. One of the most memorable and captivating scenes involves two trans-gendered individuals talking about behaviors they want or don't want to manifest. One way I intend to use the video is to show certain scenes dealing with particular issues; let the scenes in the video generate a dynamic discussion in my class; and then follow that with a thorough presentation of the research findings on that particular topic. Then repeat the process for another issue." --Mark L. Knapp, Jones Centennial Prof. in Communication, Univ. of Texas, Austin, author of Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction

"I'm hoping that Roger Ebert doesn't have a copyright on 'two-thumbs up.' In my view as a college professor, this video demonstrates far better than any lecture or readings the concepts that students need in order to understand gender differences in both language and nonverbal behavior. While seriously academic, the video is far from dry. Indeed, my class loved the film. Students roared with laughter at Archer's irreverence for advertising's positioning of women. In another section of the film, students were amazed at the fundamental verbal and nonverbal work it takes to change genders. In other words, this video makes students laugh and think. It is refreshing to watch a video on gender and communication that is optimistic!" --Cynthia Siemsen, Prof. of Sociology, California State Univ., Chico

"Another video bearing the hallmarks of Dane Archer's productions: Engaging, clever, funny, accurate, insightful, informative, and charmingly unpretentious. Most remarkable about the production is its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature across the social sciences and humanities. This video can and should be used not only in the obvious triad of disciplines of psychology, sociology, and anthropology, but also in gender studies, departments or schools of business, communication, education, English, human development, and linguistics. Wherever this video is shown, it will open eyes, ears, and minds." -- Robert Rosenthal, Distinguished Prof., University of California, Riverside, and Edgar Pierce Prof. of Psychology, Emeritus, Harvard University

"This video breaks new ground, both substantively and stylistically. Substantively, it synthesizes discussion of both verbal and nonverbal behavior, grounding this discussion in the complex and compelling ways in which cultural patterns and expectations shape those behaviors. Stylistically, the video is a delight. In using real students, people who look and are as varied as the likely viewers, the messages of the video become much more compelling. There is a delightful humor; the role reversals of the kinesics examples and the hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine voices are wonderful. The inclusion of conscious gender-switching in the interviews with transgendered individuals is also an excellent decision, both as a conceptual approach and politically. This will be an excellent tool for any classroom discussion of gender and communication. -- Judith A. Howard, Chair, Dept. of Women's Studies and Prof. of Sociology, Univ. of Washington

"I will definitely use this video in my introductory Women's Studies classes. It makes its points in entertaining, convincing, and witty ways that not only force you to re-realize the obvious, but also present a compelling case for gender socialization through subtle and overt linguistic and nonverbal forms of communication. This video will be an important teaching tool not only to engage students in discussion around gender and language, but also to stimulate them to think critically about gender relations more broadly." -- Lynn Fujiwara, Prof. of Women's Studies, Univ. of Oregon


  • American Psychological Assn. honoree
  • Western Psychological Assn. honoree

Additional Material

For additional information, please visit http://nonverbal.ucsc.edu



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