This is the first thorough review and analysis of the extensive research literature on nonverbal sex differences among infants, children, and adults. Judith A. Hall summarizes and explores data on nonverbal skill and style differences, including the sending and judging of nonverbal cues of emotion, facial expression, gaze, interpersonal distance, touch, body movement, and nonverbal speech characteristics.
Popular authors and scholars alike have advanced the argument that women's low social status has accounted for their nonverbal skills and expressive style. Hall pays particular attention to examining this "oppressive hypothesis." Explanations for nonverbal sex differences surely have much to do with cultural expectations and social learning processes, she argues, but to unravel the exact causal influences is a complex task, one that has hardly begun.
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