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Much of the literature in popular culture leads one to believe that men and women are truly quite different in terms of their emotional experiences and their communication of those experiences.According to John Gray (1992), author of Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus, men and women differ in their experience of emotions and their communication of them.Often, the terms sex difference and gender difference are used interchangeably. Specifically, sex differences refer to biological differences between men and women.Gender differences, on the other hand, refer to social expectations and stereotypes attributed to men and women by virtue of the biological sex.Within the context of gender differences, this would account for men and women reporting what they stereotypically believe men and women should do from a social expectation standpoint versus what they actually do.Research on communication in close, personal relationships suggests that men and women are more similar than they are different.Gray, however, is not an academic, and his work is not based on empirical research.Indeed, much of the empirical scholarship on sex and gender differences indicates quite the opposite.


Finally, although the concepts of sex and gender are different, gender is implicitly influenced by sex (Canary and Emmers-Sommer 1997).

Specifically, it shows that men and women are more similar than they are different in terms of communicating in their close, personal relationships (Canary and Emmers-Sommer 1997).

Although some differences do exist, they are not substantial enough to declare that the sexes or genders are significantly different.

Many of the socalled differences in the sex and gender literature are related more to flaws in the studies themselves, such as errors in recollection in self-report studies, or individuals' reports that are affected by social desirability.

Specifically, social desirability refers to an individual reporting what he or she thinks others would find acceptable, rather than what actually may be the truth.Nevertheless, some differences do exist between men and women.


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