Argumentation and Genderlect

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Each gender has a particular style of speech with which they communicate their messages with. This is where genderlect style roots from. Genderlect is defined as the variety of speech pattern that a particular gender-male or female, uses to communicate (The Washington post  1994). Many factors influence our speech styles, including regional and ethnic backgrounds, family experience and individual personality. The differences in speech and communication patterns have caused miscommunications and sometimes conflicts as a result.

Argumentation on the other hand is the way in which logical reasoning should and is utilized to come to agreeable conclusions. Conclusions from argumentation are drawn largely from premises and rules or inference as well as those of logic are utilized. Debate, as well as negotiation is the key ingredients in an argument directed at coming to a mutually acceptable close. In some instances, as portrayed in eristic arguments; argumentation is used not for truth or finding any truth to a particular problem or discussion thus instead of coming to agreed upon conclusions, only one party goes home happy having won the argument.

Argumentation is a verbal activity as well as a non verbal activity. it usually takes place in a language that is understood by the audience. Argumentation is also a social activity in that it occurs within a social context. It is also an activity of reason in that people bring forth their arguments and they will be considered by the audience for a position in the realms of reason. An argument will always be related to a particular stand point which is why argumentation occurs to validate or to disprove that particular standpoint.

Argumentation has four main principles.

The first one is externalization which concentrates not on the psychological aspects of the audience but rather on the way they externalize things. This is because argumentation requires a standpoint and an opposition factor to the standpoint to be complete.

Socialization. Argumentation cannot occur when there is only one person involved. A social context is required for argumentation to occur. This is because arguments are a people driven expressive process. An arguer has to prove a point’s validity to another or a group.

Argumentation is a way of managing disagreements verbally. Thus the functionalization of arguments. If an argument does not lead to a resolution in the end then that argument may be deemed failed.

Dialectification. This is the procedure through which people depend on to win an argument. Argumentation is only helpful when you are able to use it to help you in the process of arguing for the sake of efficiency.

Argumentation, has five key components that it encompasses. One of them being the identification of the argument and the goals the participants wish to achieve by engaging in it. Further it is important to know the premises that are being used to argue out a conclusion. It is also important to know who bears the burden of proof and as such ascertain who is to bear the burden of providing the evidence to support what they are purporting and to give evidence why the position they hold is correct. The holder of a certain position is also required to be able to carry an argument in such a way that it will not be easily attacked and does not show any evidence of weakness. While the initiator of an argument carries the burden of proving it true, the listener‘s burden is to find cracks in it and try to bring it down. As such he will go on a fault finding mission to locate fallacies within the argument and prove that the argument cannot be used to derive a logical conclusion.

Typically any argument will have a structure that can be exploded and defined. It usually follows the following pattern. As a rule an argument has to have at least one premise and a conclusion. In between is a method of reasoning that is supposed to carry the argument from premise to conclusion.  Within thw confines of this definition, two schools of argumentation exist. One of them is classical logic where the conclusion automatically follows the assumptions or supporting information. But not all times does the assumption come out as inconsistent then it means that anything will come after. For the consequent to be inferred, then it is important to have a minimal set as with the set inclusions of the assumptions.  This is usually referred to as minimal consistent. The second considers argument a primitive term and as such an argument lacks any form of structure internally. This form of argumentation looks at abstract arguments.

Any argument that has the three parts indicated above will have components that make it a full argument (Toulmin 1958). For an argument to begin, there has to be a claim. No argument can commence without anything that requires verification and support. The second part will come in the form of data. This data should specifically be about the claim that has been made. The claim has to have foundation and the data provides just that. For the data to support the claim there has to be a warrant which bridges the two. The third part should be the backing. Backing is usually applied when the listener does not see the warrant as credible. It is usually supplied in the form of official provisions. The next component is a rebuttal which recognizes the restrictions up to which the claim is valid. This restricts the legitimacy of the claim. The qualifier is the last component. It is usually a word which denotes the extent of certainty in the claim that has been made. These include adverbs such as possibly, certainly, presumably and probably.

There are different kinds of argumentation. One of the most spread out is political argumentation. This form of argumentation is usually used by politicians who may be up for election for political office, government officials when defending government activities, media practitioners, academics and the public in general in the quest of understanding or commenting on political occurrences.

The second form of argumentation comes in the form of mathematical argumentation. Mathematics has for a long time been considered a truth and as such mathematical truths can be derived from entirely rational axioms and therefore are, in the end, logical truths. If an argument can be cast in the structure of sentences in representative Logic, it can be tested by the appliance of established confirmation methods. Although that may be so, an argument in Mathematics, as it is in any other field, can only be considered legitimate only if it can be proven as not having a true hypothesis and a fallacious conclusion. It should not contradict itself.

The next form of argumentation is scientific argumentation. Since argumentation is founded on foundationalism, scientific argumentation is regarded as a non form. This is because if the collective methods of verification of claims are deemed untrustworthy then there cannot be an argument. This is because scientific knowledge is produced rhetorically.

Legal arguments are carried out in a court of law by lawyers and are usually in front of a judge or jury or both but not the latter in singularity. They are usually done to convince of the guilt or innocence of the person being tried. They are usually done to prove why their point is of a greater magnitude and why their claim should prevail.


In genderlect the differences in how male and female communicate may bring about arguments. This is because of unavoidable differences in gender modes of communication which stem from culturally defined gender roles influence on language. Conversations are by and large negotiations through which we try to realize control and keep it-this applies to men while women opt to use this to enhance connection with other people. While communication happens

Tannen 1992 says that although boys and girls will grow up in the same family, cultural orientations on how they are supposed to behave differentiate their behavior as they grow up. There are various things that differentiate men and women in their communication. One of them is the main concern in communication. While men aim to gain the upper hand and be in control, women will strive to make connections and nurture them. This is seen in the interactions of boys and girls. Boys at play will challenge each other and jostle for positions of hierarchy within a group while girls will rarely play in large groups, preferring to play in small groups or pairs and competition for higher hierarchical position is not encouraged. (Tannen 1990) adds that girls are not accustomed to competing for position since they are more concerned with their likeability. This can be summarized as boys need to establish dominance while girls seek to preserve relationships in their conversations.

Girls will communicate in a way that establishes rapport, a way of founding and negotiating relations. For men conversation is used to preserve their sense of independence and establish or impose their dominance thus solidifying their place in the social hierarchy.

To affirm relationships, girls will share secrets, show concern by nodding and showing attention by looking into the eyes of their friends and talking back. This is done to re affirm their friendships. On the other hand, men will seldom talk about how they fell instead opting to talk about general interests like sports and politics. Emotions and secrets are internalized for boys and men. Showing and Sharing of emotions is considered weak and as such discouraged. Tannen , to explain this phenomena divided this into different areas of study.

On eof the areas she looked at involved conversation. Women have been known to speak freely and enjoy private conversations while men rarely engage in small talk. Men will speak freely in discussion groups and in public whereas women will not voice their opinions in public. This defines the difference in their styles of communication women prefer the rapport form will men report. These methods, as seen above are meant to reaffirm relationships for the women while for the menthe report style is used for getting attention, communicating the message and seeking agreement.

The differences are further displayed in the different sexes mode of telling stories.  A man will tell as story in a humorous way, setting himself on a pedestal as the hero of the story. Women on the other hand wish to share and relate with them. They will seek to gain acceptance by how they tell their story. They do not like to seek attention and as such will share the story in a way that disparages them.

When listening women will nod and talk back to show that they are listening and try to build a rapport. Men on the other hand will be quiet and listen. Men regard these interruptions as challenges to the social hierarchy while for the women, these disruptions and talk backs are a way of showing the speaker that they are interested in what they are saying. For women, a silent man during conversation shows that the man is not listening and lacks interest in what she is saying.

When it comes to questioning either gender does it for different reasons.  For women, questions are a way of showing that they are interested and to show agreement on the subject. Men on the other hand use questions to check how well the speaker knows on the subject they are speaking on. Further, men will seldom ask questions to get help and display dependence as this will move them lower the rung of social hierarchy but for women, they are comfortable asking questions and direction from people who have the information that will help them. This further cements the men’s need for independence and importance of position while showing how comfortable women are with lowering their status to gain information.

When it comes to conflict, men thrive in tit as it is the tool they use to climb up the social hierarchy, on the other hand women view conflict as a threat to their social connections and will do all that they can to avoid it.


Interactions, although differing in their modes are wards particular goals. For women it is connection while for the men it is status. It has been proven that the interactions between men and women are cross cultural due to the differences in communication differences. Status and connection are not the primary goals but they are within human beings and these define the journeys through life. For the women a lot of emphasis is placed on creating and maintaining connections and doing things in small groups, active listening and asking for help whenever they need it. For the men, they are defined by a sense of independence, maintaining status and competition define by conflict to go up the hierarchy. These attitudes are learned from childhood and carried into adulthood and for conflict between the sexes to be reduced, both genders need to understand their differences.