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The gender-as-culture (or two cultures) hypothesis was developed in the early 1980s to explain the observed communication differences between men and women speakers, usually in English-speaking contexts. The theory is based on work in anthropology and sociolinguistics, examining ethnic and national cultural differences in communication, as well as in psychology, looking at mid-childhood same-sex socialization patterns. The hypothesis posits that women and men from the same cultural background are socialized in mid-childhood into differing linguistic subcultures that then form the basis for a lifetime of both same-sex and cross-sex communication. The hypothesis was initially developed as a reaction against the earlier deficit hypothesis for explaining gendered communication differences, which posited that women’s dominant communication styles and channels were inferior to those of men. Subsequent critiques ...

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