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The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us

The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us - James W. Pennebaker This book contains some Chaz Bono-level anecdotal evidence about the effects of testosterone on behavior. I kind of wanted to cry when I read the following (but maybe I've got too much naturally-occuring testosterone coursing through my biologically-female (or whatever) veins preventing me from crying, or using social pronouns). And I quote: "For a variety of reasons, both men and women occasionally undergo testosterone therapy, whereby they are given periodic injections of the hormone. What would happen to their language during times when their testosterone levels were high versus when they were low? Through an odd series of events, I was able to answer the question." (57)How does Pennebaker answer this question? He looks at the writing of two people: one 28yo transguy taking T to transition and one 60yo non-trans guy taking T to"restore his upper body strength" (58) Now that's rigorous science, folks. Wait, though, there's more."...there was one fascinating and reliable difference--in social pronouns (including words like we, us, he, she, they, and them). As testosterone levels dropped, they used more social pronouns. Think what this means: Both GH and the anthropologist inject themselves with testosterone and they now focus on tasks, goals, events, and the occasional object--but not people." (58)Is this really a RELIABLE sample? Two people?"It is news because these language differences signal that men tend to talk and think about concrete objects and things in highly specific ways. They are naturally categorizing things... a man naturally categorize and assigns objects to spatial relations at rates higher than women."Please can we go back to the 90s when people had heard of social construction of identity?PS: The Gender Genie http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.php score for this review (minus quotations) is: Female Score: 54 Male Score: 111. Take that, Pennebaker.