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Gender and the Communication of Emotion

Non-verbal communication forms part of our daily communication and interaction. In spite of the significance, men and women have striking differences in their use and interpretation of nonverbal communication. According to the article "Gender and the Communication of Emotion via Touch," men and women express their emotions differently (Herten, & Keltner, 2011). Indeed, women are more superior in application and interpretation of non-verbal communication than men are.


Unlike men, women mainly express their emotions through non-verbal communications (Smither & Richard, 2005). For instance when angry, men are more likely to turn into violent confrontations than women are. Touching is a deep show of emotions. Indeed, touching has different meanings across gender. While I was growing up, I learnt from my family and peers that touching members from the same sex as you is a show of friendship and solidarity. On the other hand, touching between members of the opposite sex was considered a show of romance and it was not freely acceptable. Besides the mainstream views on touching, I considered the act superior to verbal communication. While growing up, I learned that touching one’s partner during a conversation improved on their convincing power.

The idea of touch remains controversial even in adulthood. However, in my adulthood I have disregarded most ideas about touching member of the opposite sex. I have also changed my view towards touch, as far as members of the opposite sex are concerned. Indeed, touch can have more than one meaning. For example, you can touch someone as a show of respect, encouragement, or appraisal. This means that touch has almost similar implications or meaning across genders. However, the intentions of the person performing the act determine the response of the other person. Additionally women are more responsive to touch than men are. Therefore, touch across genders should be taken with caution.

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