Most research on gender differences in communication styles focuses on verbal communication. This thesis explores gender differences in nonverbal communication. It analyzes men's and women's (1) upper limb movements, (2) lower limb movements, (3) head movements and (4) eye contact through videotape. The sample size consisted of eight men and women in groups of four (two males and two females). The groups were given specific topics to discuss. One topic was a stereotypical male issue (football), whereas the other topic was a stereotypical female issue (a weekly television melodrama). Each group was recorded by video for a total of ten minutes. The videotape procedure allowed for the subtle movements to be captured on tape and later analyzed. In a succeeding interview, participants viewed themselves on tape and made interpretations regarding both their own and others' nonverbal actions. The three research questions were to find out (1) if gender differences exist within certain nonverbal behaviors, (2) if the degree of familiarity of the conversation topic influenced these gender differences, and (3) if participants were aware of their own nonverbal behavior. Results showed gender differences in nonverbal behaviors, regardless of the conversation topic. Moreover, the individuals performing each of the movements were not always aware of their own actions or meanings behind the behaviors.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1994 Sandra L. Clark