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Talkative Men

July 30, 2007

Contrary to popular belief, men are just as talkative as women, according to new research.


Do women really talk more than men? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A recent bestseller claimed that women say about twenty thousand words a day, while men average only seven thousand. At the time, many scientists questioned the statistic, and now, new studies appear to disprove it. In one, University of Arizona psychologist Matthias Mehl analyzed six different experiments with college students. The experiments sampled and logged both men’s and women’s conversations for several days.

MATTHIAS MEHL (University of Arizona):
So at that point, we compiled all the data, did a thorough analysis, and then we were surprised that really, there was actually no difference whatsoever.

As for where the original, lopsided statistic came from, Mehl says it appears to have been overgeneralized from just one type of male-female interaction. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.