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Nonverbal Communication: Kinesics & Gender Annotated Bibliography

Sarah Kelzer Nonverbal Communication April 18, 2014 Professor Siddens


Nonverbal Communication in of itself is an entirely different language that we actively participate in without always realizing it. Probing into the language is sublanguages, such as kinesics, which is the interpretation and study of body movements, such as gestures and facial expressions. Kinesics in general is a wide and varied subject and is one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication. I combined kinesics with gender roles because one of my favorite classes that I took as a student at the University of Northern Iowa was Intro to Women and Gender Studies. I found the material to be both fascinating and relatable, much like Nonverbal Communication. Therefore, the following annotated bibliography is about how the different genders display and interpret kinesics. This paper combines relevant information and isolates those works to presents them in short annotated form. The collection has two major divisions: academic and nonacademic. In these sections you will find references to gender roles, expectations and ideologies and what is socially acceptable, expected and preferred in terms of their relationship to kinesics. Academic Sources Journal Articles Blais, C., Fiset, D., & Gosselin, F. (2013). Gender differences in the visual strategies underlying facial expression categorization. Journal of Vision, 13(9), doi: 10.1167/13.9.598 Gender differences have been found in the neural responses to emotional faces suggesting that men and women process facial expressions differently. The authors of this article sought to verify whether the visual strategies used in facial expression categorization differ across gender. On average, women performed better than men It was found that women used the mouth area more than men, again suggesting that gender influences the visual strategy used for categorizing facial expressions, and thus proving their hypothesis. This study could be used to further exemplify even the subtlest differences between the way men and women conduct nonverbal communication. Epstein, C. (1986). Symbolic segregation: Similarities and differences in the language and non-verbal communication of women and men. Sociological Forum, 1(1), 27-49. Retrieved from The authors of this journal article took a different stance and instead of just pointing out the nonverbal differences between the sexes, they proclaimed that the differences tend to be superficial, to be linked to power differentials, and to be context specific. The paper concludes that these differences are socially created and therefore may be socially altered. This could be used as a value asset to provide a counter argument that we are born into our gender roles. Findley, M., & Punyanunt-Carter, N. (2007). The Impact of Gender on Instructor Nonverbal Communication from the Perspectives of Learner Affect and Learners' Perceptions of Instructor. Human Communication, 10(3), 243-257. This study built on research by removing the focus on immediacy and dominance behaviors; rather, the authors compiled a broad list of nonverbal behaviors representative of those instructors use in the classroom. Key findings included few gender differences in

the student responses; instead, the major difference occurred in the nonverbal behaviors students identified for male and female instructors. It is interesting to note that this study has built off other studies, creating a sturdy foundation of research. Houstis, O., & Kiliaridis, S. (2009). Gender and age differences in facial expressions. European Journal of Orthodontics, 31(5), 459-466. doi: 10.1093/ejo/cjp019 The aim of this quantitative study was to evaluate the facial expressions of children and adults in order to assess their dependence on age and gender. A video was used to record each individual executing three facial expressions: a rest pose, a lip pucker, and a posed smile. It was evident that the ability to produce certain facial expressions differs between groups of individuals due to gender and age. This is a helpful source when trying to emphasize a point with statistics and scientific data. Keeley-Dyreson, M., Bailey, W., & Burgoon, J. (2006). The effects of stress and gender on nonverbal decoding accuracy in kinesic and vocalic channels. Human Communication Research, 17(4), Retrieved from This study focused on testing the effects of stress and the accurate decoding of kinesic and vocalic emotional expressions. The results showed that stress weakened accuracy primarily in the vocalic channel and at the onset of stress. The kinesic facial channel also produced consistently higher accuracy than the vocalic channel, and females achieved higher accuracy than males, but this superiority was less by the third trial. This is a situational study, different than most of the references in this bibliography. It is from a reliable source and can shape an argument by comparing it to non-stressful situations. Park, E., Kim, K. J., & Pobil, A. P. (2011). The effects of robot's body gesture and gender in human-robot interaction. Human-Computer Interaction, doi: 10.2316/P.2011.747-023 A unique study from a different perspective, these authors study the effects of robots gender and gesture on human perception. Results showed that most participants preferred a robot with an opposite sex, suggesting that interacting with a robot with an opposite sex can make it more appealing than a situation in which the robot is perceived to be the same gender. This gender effect was much stronger between male subjects and a female robot, which was consistent with findings in existing communication studies in human-human interaction. I believe more of these technological studies can be expected to be seen in the near future as our field of study continues to grow and broaden. Schmid, P., Schmid Mast, M., Bombari, D., & Mast, F. (2011). Gender Effects in Information Processing on a Nonverbal Decoding Task. Sex Roles, 65(1/2), 102-107. It is widely known that women are (usually) better at reading kinesic signals than men. This article looks at why that is and if it is because women are more naturally sensitive to others body language or because they are socially construed to be aware. The article provides a scientific look at the very base of men vs. women in reading each others body language. It is a valued source for academic information and to assess the differences in the sexes.

Sokolov, A. A., Kruger, S., Enck, P., Krageloh-Mann, I., & Pavlova, M. A. (2011). Gender affects body language reading. Frontiers in Psychology, 2(16), doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00016 Gender effects in body language reading are largely unknown. This study investigated whether, and how recognition of emotional expressions revealed by body motion is gender dependent. Females and males were presented with point-light displays portraying knocking at a door performed with different emotional expressions. The findings showed that gender affects accuracy rather than speed of body language reading. Advantage of women in recognition accuracy of neutral actions suggests that females are better tuned to the lack of emotional content in body actions. This study is good to use for a contrasting look at gender differences and nonverbal behavior. Wagner, T. R. (2013). The Effects of Speaker Eye Contact and Gender on Receiver's Assessments of the Speaker and Speech. Ohio Communication Journal, 51217-235. Wagner conducted a study to find out if more eye contact is better in the public speaking context by using male and female speakers. By having 151 participants assessed the speakers competence, trust, attractiveness, likability, and information processing. In the end, it was found that the female speaker was perceived as significantly more competent, attractive, reliable, and intelligent. Overall, for both speakers, higher levels of eye contact produced greater positive effects on ratings related more to the speakers character, pleasantness, and liking, than findings related to the speakers competence. This particular source can be quite useful when looking at niches in professional settings. Yang, P. (2010). Nonverbal gender differences: examining gestures of universityeducation mandarin chinese speakers. Text & Talk, 30(3), 333-357. Retrieved from This article attempts to discover and describe gender-specific gestures by examining conversational settings. This provides a different cultural perspective than the other sources cited in this annotated bibliography because it used Chinese student participants. It was found that females prefer using hand-shielding-mouth gestures when laughing broadly and hand clapping when excited with joy, while males take to chin-up when indicating a target and index-finger pointing when directing recipients' attention. The purpose of this study was to help other language speakers communicate better and more naturally with Chinese speakers in the intercultural context. Nonacademic Sources Book Alvear, M. (2010). Attract hotter guys: With the secrets and science of sexual body language. Woodpecker Media Retrieved farom Although this source is non-academic, it does provide a different and different perspective from one mans point of view. The premise is to prove that the sexual body language principles that work for straight couples could, with some adaptation, work for gay men. In essence, it is a body language analysis from a gay mens standpoint. I think homosexual body language has not been analyzed nearly as much as heterosexual body language and by including this source, we take a step in the right direction.

Comic Scott, J., Borgman, J. (2008, August 17) ZITS. Unspoken communication: Girls vs. boys. Los Angeles Times. Retreived from A picture can say a thousand words and sometimes in a completely accurate way. The following comic shows how sexes nonverbally communication with the same sex in the form of satire. This could be used as an anecdote to start a paper.

Stiffler, A. (Artist). (2012, September 08). Feminine Wiles [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from Being feminine often means using ones body to portray powerlessness. This is a common phenomenon discussed in the communication world. The following graphic pokes fun at the fact that naturally scrunching up your body to appear feminine isnt natural for everyone, but actually socially constructed. This graphic can be used to show the way women portray their bodies and how they want to portray their bodies.

Online Magazine Article Fredrickson, J. (2014). The burning

question. Dance Magazine, 84(11), 44. Retrieved from This is a situational article placed in the world of dance. Dancers themselves have their own exclusive subculture. In dance, there are different rules. For instance, in society people are generally somewhat to very aware of their body language. But in dance, the audience is literally analyzing and trying to find a story in the body language being portrayed on stage and gender plays a big role in that performance. There are certain moves that are still considered feminine or masculine and can change the plot of the story if the opposite sex dances them. I think this is a great source to look at what the literal portrayal of kinesics means and how they are portrayed differently when danced by different genders. What your body language says about your relationship. (2014). Red Book Magazine, Retrieved from This is a situational article, looking specifically at couples already in relationships. It is more of an advice piece and focuses on ways to make a relationship better through gestures, signs and signals and analyzing the positive body language in relationships. This could be useful for looking at what the opposite sex thinks about the others signals and how to portray feelings of affection in body movements. This is a prime popular press argument because it looks at real life, common situations that most can relate to. Online Newspaper Wood, M. (2014, March 13). First date tips for anxious lovers, and how to keep an eye on body language. Daily Sundial. Retrieved from This article looks at the very beginnings of a relationship; the first date, to be exact. When you dont someone, you dont know their habits. This article gives suggestions about what the opposite sexs body language is communicating while also keeping yours in check. This can be used to analyze how strangers comes across and how people move into the next stage of a relationship based on what their bodies are really saying. It is a different perspective than the typical academic stance, and therefore provides its own unique value. One point does need to be made: this article is from the view of heterosexuals. TV Show Mitt's socialist rhetoric & body language [Television series episode]. (2012). In Colbert, S. (Executive Producer), The Colbert Report. New York, NY: Comedy Central. Retrieved from By taking a comedic view on actual news that has been reported, Colbert looks at the body language being used by professional men, specifically presidential candidates. In the news report, the reporters analyzed what the men were communicating: the negative, the positive and who was communicating the strongest signals. Although this

video does not focus on the differences between men and women, it can be used to analyze men only and then later compare their body movements to women. Video Cuddey, A. (Performer) (2012). Your body language shapes who you are [Web]. Retrieved from Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, explains her research on body language reveals that we can change other peoples perceptions and even our own body chemistry simply by changing body positions. This video specifically focuses on selfimprovement and doesnt touch the subject of attraction, unlike many other body language articles between the sexes. This video has value in the fact that by tweaking our own body language, we can learn to become more powerful people. Video blog The Nonverbal Group. [Web log message]. Retrieved from This video analyzes the way the sexes are supposed to move their bodies in order to communicate the correct messages. The target audience for this video is less for the academic and more for the general. It keeps things simple and can be used for talking about simple perceptions, stereotypes and differences. Web Blog Alvear, M. (2009, October 02). [Web log message]. Gay dating: The 5 principles of gay body language. Retrieved from We live in a biased culture that focuses primarily on the concerns of heterosexual people. By taking a look at blog from a gay perspective, it creates and answers different questions about body language. Alvear is the author of the first body language book for gay men and provides insight into the gay community that is not usually on the mainstream. The focus is to think about how the person is communicating and how their movements and gestures are being received. This is a valuable source for looking gaining new insight. Tublin, P. (2014, February 13). 4 easy steps to communicate with others for success in business and life. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from This article is a how-to about learning the appropriate use of kinesics to climb the ladder. In short, it is trying to teach the readers how to be certain their body language is consistent with their verbal communication from the perspective of women. The focus of this article is not to compare and contrast but to focus on womens body language in the workplace, which can then later be compared and contrasted to men via a different source.

Web Page Amos, J. (2012, October 15). Body language differences between men and women. Retrieved from This source comes right out and names the differences between the kinesics between men and women. This takes a close look at the way men and women send and receive nonverbal messages and say that there are actual physical differences for these differences. It also goes a step further to show how men and women can handle these differences in communication. This does not mean one gender is inherently better or worse than the other is; it just means they have different tendencies and characteristics and this is a great source for further examining that statement. It is very important to emphasize that one gender is not better than the other just different. Swami, S. (2013, June). Gender affects body language reading. Retrieved from This article basically says that men and women can interpret emotional body language at almost the same speed but with different accuracy. The findings in this article clearly underline that there is a definite difference in both genders with respect to social reading and interpretation and takes special mention of gender roles. This is a blatant compare and contrast article that tries to make the reader become more sensitive to the body language of the opposite sex. Wade, L. (2013, December 27). Gender and the body language of power. Retrieved from This article talk about how research has shown that expansive body postures that take up room instill a psychological sense of power and entitlement. The fact that this behavior is gendered may go some way towards explaining the persistence of gender inequality and, more pointedly, some mens belief that they have earned their unearned privileges. It is an interesting article about the inequality in our society and what we are unknowingly doing about it. Conclusion Multiple perspectives and situations have been provided to further analyze the relationship between gender and kinesics to provide a more conclusive insight. Gender and kinesics is something that everyone deals with on a daily basis, whether they want to admit it or not. Ignorance may be bliss, but is practically a crime in the academic world. Reading about the subject provides a deeper understanding and therefore promotes acceptance towards others and what they are really trying to nonverbally communicate.