When someone generalizes and says men are asses and women are far more kind, it can justifiably rile people up. While it doesn't validate those views, a new study in PLoS ONE says, as far as posting on Facebook goes, these stereotypes aren't entirely baseless.
"The language most characteristic of self-identified females was warmer, friendlier, and focused on people, whereas self-identified males’ most characteristic language was more socially distant, disagreeable, and focused on objects," the study reports.
The researchers took 10 million posts from over 68,000 users across two studies, looking at the topics users posted about in one study and, in the other, "affiliation and interpersonal warmth versus impersonality and coldness... assertiveness and dominance versus indirectness and passivity."
The study found that men are more likely to talk money, politics, and work, while women spend more time discussing their social life, friends, and family. It also found that men are more likely to swear.
In the top slots for most used words among women are "sooo," "soooo," "sooooo," "cute," "sister," "daughter," "happy," and "birthday," among others. For men, "government," "freedom," "rights," "win," "lose," "battle," and "fight," among others, including a bevy of sports related terms.
Also, for some reason, women have the oddly specific names "Zach," Brandon," "Katie," and "Heather" ranked very high. Meanwhile, men don't have any names registering anywhere, outside of "Obama." Instead, men have a variety of words for gun and kill.
Before you jump to gendered stereotypes, the study found that men and women are equally assertive in their use of language, it's just the topics that tend to diverge. It's also important to note, before it's a topic of conversation at your next dinner party, that the study was entirely limited to Facebook and not to how people talk in their every day lives. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, like what are Zach and Brandon doing that is making everyone talk so?