Do women really talk more than men?

08 July 2007
Posted by Chris Smith.

Woman using telephone, c. 1910.It's always said that women talk more than men, but here at the Naked Scientists, its hard to get a word in edgeways as Dr Chris is always talking. Now new research from the University of Arizona suggests that men may be just as chatty. The scientists recorded the conversations of 400 Mexican male and female students over 6 years, and logged their words.

In their study, published in the journal Science, the researchers reveal that the women in the study spoke a daily average of 16,215 words during their waking hours, versus an average of 15,669 words for men.

So women do talk more than men, but not by a statistically significant margin. But that's just the average - the team found very large individual differences around this average. For example. among the three most talkative males in the study, one used 47,000 words while the least talkative male spoke just a little more than 500.

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