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Lady Of The Manor: Strong, Silent Type? What A Bore

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There’s an old saying: “Girls are talkers, boys are walkers.” While that may be the case in some families, in ours it couldn’t be further from the truth. All three of my three sons – and my husband – have been known to hold their own in the art of conversation. Sure, I’m the chattiest of the group (or so I’ve been told), but I don’t think it has anything to do with being a woman.

Or does it?

In her bestselling book The Female Brain, Dr. Luan Brizendine claims that women talk three times more than men. According to Brizendine, this difference is formed in utero, when testosterone affects the area of the brain where communication and emotion develop. The book became a bestseller, despite mixed reviews and contrary opinions.

My husband and I went to a seminar early on in our marriage that explained how women like to “talk” while men like to “do.” Upon hearing this claim, the men nodded knowingly. The women, on the other hand, weren’t so  convinced. Funny how these guys were all able to participate in a conversation before they got married! The lecturer suggested that the best way to handle this scenario was to talk while doing something else. Something physical. Guess the instructor wasn’t so into pillow talk. Or had never been stuck in long-weekend traffic.

My three sons each started walking at around 12 months old. Then again, so did lots of baby girls I know. In terms of talking, “mama,” “dada” and “doggy” came easily to them, but each boy developed language skills at a  different rate. The oldest had his go-to words but didn’t really get going until he was about two. The second started chit-chatting at nine months old and hasn’t stopped since. My baby, now three, has always managed to communicate in his own lingo.

While we’re led to believe that boys can grunt out a sentence in three words or less while their female counterparts talk well into the night, I know plenty of male motor-mouths. On our safari honeymoon, our driver told my husband he’d never heard two chattier passengers in all the drives he’d done. Ever. And, interestingly enough, he claimed my man talked way more than I did. Nine years later, we still argue about it.

Perhaps we should try the “Talk-O-Meter,” an iPhone app that determines who’s really doing all the talking. The only trouble is that it has a hard time distinguishing voices when people talk over each other. Which is par for the course in our family.

In our house full of boys, the amount of talk varies by the minute. Hockey, Mario and farts always beat “how was your day?” in terms of conversation starters. Sure, there are moments where I find myself in a three-way conversation – by myself. But more often the cacophony of voices is so overwhelming we all end up shouting to be heard. We call it communicating. And I like it. Silence is overrated.

(Photo: BananaStock)