12 Sep 2022


How Men and Women Differ in Their Listening Behaviors

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What are some ways that men and women differ in their listening behaviors? To what extent do you perform these behaviors? 

Women and men exhibit different styles when it comes to listening, thereby leading to the disparities in ways they perceive various forms of communication. Studies carried out in the listening habits between the two sexes; they reveal that women and men adopt different ways to indicate they are paying attention. Women usually nod their heads in an affirmative manner or exhibit other positive listening behaviors more often as opposed to men. For men, they utilize the behaviors less often while listening, leaving women to believe that men are not listening while men feel that the women are over listening (O'Rourke, 2011).

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Additionally, what women and men portray based on the listening habits they portray differ significantly. Whenever women nod their heads or utter words such as “uh-huh,” this means that they are paying attention as well as comprehending what a speaker is saying. Men normally utilize listening noises frequently to reveal they agree with what is being said. This could mean that men are listening to the same way as women while agreeing less, thus complicating the process of listening (Worthington & Fitch-Hauser, 2015).

The kind of consistency that becomes apparent in the case of the listening habits that women and men portray is that they lay emphasis on communication. Utilizing listening behaviors to reveal caring and interest as opposed to agreement depicts a relationship’s emotional aspect, which is the key area that women focus on. Making use of listening habits to portray agreement with what a speaker said emphasizes on content and theme of the conversation, which serves as the key area of focus among men. Therefore, when it comes to listening, and in other communication aspects, women and men exercise consistency in the style they exhibit.

In my case, therefore, I remain calm when listening to various conversations, although I take time to agree with a statement until I have reviewed it thoroughly to determine whether it matches my viewpoint. As such, I have come to realize that most people believe that we listen using our ears, although this belief is far away from the truth. Even though ears take part during the process of listening, I believe that true listening exceeds what people are saying. True listening should portray care, since the people who listen in a careful manner show signs of concern in diverse aspects of life.

What examples of listening fallacies can you think of in your life? 

Various hindrances, also referred to as fallacies, exist hindering people from listening in an effective manner. They entail false notions that make individuals develop inflated options concerning their performance on listening. When people believe that they do not have any problem when it comes to listening, they do not make any efforts to allow them to improve. In fact, they fail to understand that their listening skills are insufficient, thus see no reason to fix them. Subsequently, they do not employ any efforts to allow them to improve. Therefore, understanding the different fallacies that influence listening can allow people to avoid the listening challenges they encounter in their lives (Rost, 2015).

In matters about listening, for instance, I usually exhibit certain fallacies in my life. I usually consider hearing and listening as the same. However, my assumption is wrong because studies reveal when people have good hearing, that does not mean that they are good listeners. In fact, a notable number of individuals who have good hearing cannot be considered as good listeners. When people have a good hearing ability, they are capable of perceiving sound perfectly, although good listeners do not focus on the words, but rather pay attention to the overall meaning. Hence, we manage to communicate effectively in the same manner that we share meaning (Kline, 2012).

For instance, when people are told something, and they fail to heed the meaning, this means that effective communication has not taken place and vice versa. Here, effective listening means that listeners are capable of comprehending what speakers mean. Thus, hearing serves as a reception to sound while listening refers to the attachment linked to sound. As such, listening is active whereas hearing is passive. Therefore, comprehending the difference that prevails between listening and hearing is a requirement for effective listening (Rost, 2015).

A different fallacy that influences my hearing ability is that listening is not among my problems. In my case, I usually believe that I am a good listener compared to those individuals close to me, including the people I work with, family members, and friends, who I consider having problems in listening. However, I have come to realize that the people around us also believe that we have more difficulties in listening compared to them. Therefore, it is apparent that listening is not a problem that a single person experiences, but is a challenge that affects all of us (Kline, 2012). In this perspective, therefore, it is our duty to embark on improving our listening skills to allow us to understand each other clearly in different forms of communications that we embark on.


Kline, J. A. (2012). Listening Effectively: Achieving High Standards in Communication. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

O'Rourke, J. (2011). Interpersonal Communication Listening and Responding. New York: Cengage Learning.

Rost, M. (2015). Teaching and Researching Listening. London: Routledge.

Worthington, D., & Fitch-Hauser, M. (2015). Listening: Processes, Functions, and Competency. London: Routledge.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). How Men and Women Differ in Their Listening Behaviors.


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