Trudi Peterson on Gendered Communication

Professor Trudi Peterson, coordinator of the Women’s Studies program and chair of the Communication Studies department, led a discussion Tuesday, February 28th in the Intercultural House main lounge. The talk covered gendered communication and its effects for all students, regardless of gender. Regina Johnson, Director of Multicultural Student Services, also attended to contribute to the dialogue on gendered communication and unlearning misogynistic behaviors in communication practices.

This event was part of the Campus Conversations, a Champion for Change talk. During the talk, Dr. Peterson discussed the differences in masculine and feminine communication, including masculine communication culture, feminine communication culture, differences in verbal communication differences, nonverbal differences, and communication goals between masculine and feminine communication styles. For example, Peterson’s printout said, masculine communication culture favors communicating to achieve goals and assert ideas, whereas feminine communication culture leans toward using communication to further relationships and deepen bonds with the people in women’s lives. However, communication cultures are not set in stone – each communication culture can be varied depending on the individual. Additionally, where people led into a feminine communication culture are taught to use qualifiers and speak less frequently, those people may unlearn those behaviors. Peterson said, “We are all members of several co-cultures.” Co-cultures can include gender identities, race, ethnicity, religions, hobbies, sports, and much more. This talk was designed to address differences in gendered communication and address misogyny in communication practices. Future topics will cover other topics and give students a forum to talk freely.

Carrie King – Editor in Chief

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