Girl Talk and Guy Talk Is Like Spaghetti and Waffles
Originally published on SexReally.com on October 14, 2009.
During this week’s episode of “Greek,” Casey and Ashleigh come up with a sneaky plan to uncover the things guys talk about when girls aren’t around. They’re shocked to hear the KT guys not discussing jock straps, but instead, mature topics, like the prevalence of sex on college campuses and how one in two pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned.
So, it’s an established (if dubious) stereotype that guys are usually discussing all the major topics (breasts, beer and breasts) when girls aren’t around, but what are girls really giggling about all the time?
Sex. Stop scoffing; you all know it’s true. I’m not afraid to call every female out on this one; we accuse men of having one-track minds when we aren’t exactly practicing what we preach. A woman may act disgusted listening to men engaging in a so-called ‘male-oriented conversation,’ but that same woman has probably had conversations with her girlfriends that could make even the crudest man blush.
In my experience, girls are less restricted and tend to use more details than guys. It wouldn’t be outlandish if diagrams or reenactments accompanied an all-girl conversation about sex. We surround ourselves with sex. Two of my best girlfriends created a sex talk show for our college radio station and another girlfriend threw a sex-toy party for her birthday where all kinds of toys, outfits and accessories were displayed and available for purchase. One of my girlfriends even hosted a viewing party of a sex-tape she created with her boyfriend (though we all agreed that was crossing some crucial boundaries). Television shows like Sex and the City set new social standards for females and the open discussion of sex. So, maybe there aren’t as many differences in what the genders discuss amongst themselves. Girls might be able to give guys a run for their money in how often we discuss sex with other girls, but it’s the way in which guys and girls communicate with each other that really needs examining.
I came across an interesting analogy that strikes me as pretty accurate: men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti. Now, ignoring the questionable anatomical images that might be passing through your mind, it actually makes sense. Men are able to compartmentalize, breaking their thoughts and ideas into little squares. They’re able to cut a piece, put it in their mouths, chew it, swallow it and then process it - all in a metaphorical sense, of course. Women, on the other hand, are like noodles, each idea flowing into the next, like one long thought; every issue is connected to other issues. The differences between these two culinary delights are what make communication between the two sexes so difficult at times.
Don’t take my word for it…it IS the title of a book. But really, communication studies 101: report vs. rapport. Men report—that is, they convey information by providing the facts and details and that’s it. Women engage in rapport, tending to refer to many things during conversation, resulting in further intimacy and connection to whomever they’re speaking to. It’s not the content of the conversations that differs so greatly, rather the method in which both groups communicate.
So is it possible for frat guys to be discussing unplanned pregnancy statistics in their free time? Among guys I know, the “p” word is considered an obscenity. However, I do believe that the male mind may have brief sparks of thought that don’t revolve around breasts. That is, provided those thoughts are served with a side of maple syrup.
Lauren Mann works in The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s Entertainment Media department. She’s been blogging about sex, love and relationships among twenty-somethings since she first joined the Campaign as an intern in 2009. Check out her personal blog at whatjewtalkingbout.tumblr.com.