Gender & Body Language: Non Verbal Communication

“Philosopher Sandra Lee Bartky once observed that being feminine often means using one’s body to portray powerlessness. Consider: A feminine person keeps her body small and contained; she makes sure that it doesn’t take up to much space or impose itself. She walks and sits in tightly packaged ways. She doesn’t cover the breadth of the sidewalk or expand herself beyond the chair she occupies.”

I am not a big fan of “gendering” or “culturing” non verbal communication. I am sure you can start to guess by now why that is. This does not negate the fact that one can read a lot into how one represents, talks about, displays, and uses their body. I am sure you can all remember examples of when you read into non verbal communication and used schemas and heuristics to come to conclusions.

Lets take a look at this example and let me know what you think….

Firstly, read “Gender and the Body Language of Power”. Think about it. Really. Take the time to think about it. So? What do you think?

Read the comments under the article. One of my favorites is “Every time I hear a result like this, my initial reaction is that it’s absurd. People can’t possibly be that easily influenced”… 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I think we all know what to call this? Now that we know a little bit better? Oh and before you create your hypothesis, take a look at these photos. Rather, um, telling I think.

Secondly, take a look at the methods used within the research and how they attempted to prove that there was a high measure of external validity. What do you guys and gals think about how they went about it? Is this correlation or causation? What can we KNOW from this study? What can we NOT KNOW from this study?

Last but not least, lets focus on this section of the Jezebel article “Likewise, burping and farting, raising one’s voice in an argument, and even laughing loudly are considered distinctly unfeminine”…. Normal bodily functions are not allowed, you hear that ladies? Take a look at how this was made into a joke that almost the entire world actually believed was true. Not so far off from what most people think could actually happen! What does that tell you?!?!?