The Duncan Banner

July 8, 2012

More support for guys in debate on listening

Ed Darling
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Hoping to promote better understanding and communication between the genders, a few months ago I addressed the somewhat dicey topic of how a man listens — or doesn’t listen — to the woman with whom he’s having a relationship.

See, fellas, most females seem to believe the male in their life doesn’t pay attention when she’s trying to engage him in conversation.

I suspect this female, uh, perception dates to prehistory, perhaps stemming from a conversation like this:

As Cave Man walked out one morning to survey his kingdom, Cave Woman noticed some boulders above their split-level cave had come loose and were hurtling down toward her beloved Cave Man.

Cave Woman screamed, “Watch out! Those rocks are falling and you could be killed.”

Totally oblivious to impending doom, Cave Man screamed back, “What do you mean my socks are falling? And I already cleaned the grill!”


Anyway, in my essay on the listening crisis between males and females, I attempted to inject SCIENTIFIC FACT into the debate. I quoted findings from research done by the highly-respected University of Sheffield in Great Britain. It showed the problem isn’t that men don’t listen, it’s that men have a unique way of hearing and processing the female voice.

As you might have expected, I received some positive and some negative response to this thesis.

Thrilled someone was sticking up for the gender, several males thanked me profusely for presenting SCIENTIFIC DATA supporting our side of the debate. Having information backed by research means when a female accuses a male of not paying attention, we no longer have to rely on our previous defense, which basically was: I do too!

Women, on the other hand, were not impressed by my factually-based postulation. Although I presented evidence from the clinical research done by the influential University of Sheffield, females responding to the column were either: A. skeptical; or, B. convinced I was, as one woman put it, “Whining, like a typical man.”

Based on reaction from the female gender, a huge majority of women ain’t buyin’ what the Sheffield study is sellin’. According to their lifetime of research, most women believe the male listening problem stems from one of the following:

1. Men are self-absorbed.

2. Men are rude.

3. Men practice selective listening. (An extremely popular response!)

4. All of the above.

Well, guys, never fear, I’ve got your back. Women may find the Sheffield data dubious, but I’ve got more SCIENTIFIC PROOF that our perceived lack of attention isn’t a matter of choice or selective sampling — it’s a DNA difference that’s beyond male control.

According to the prestigious website, the male problem with listening to females is a left brain/right brain thing.

See, the left side of the brain is the verbal, sorting, detail-oriented side, and there’s gobs (a scientific word used in data collection) of research showing women exist more on their left side. Men, on the other hand, hang out more in the right brain, which is the spatial intuitive nonverbal side.

Unlike women, men are not generally comfortable when visiting the verbal side of our brains. So, when a woman utters the trigger words “let’s talk,” they’re asking us to join in an activity in which males immediately feel somewhat inferior.

This kicks in a genetic male defense mechanism that sends the message: “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! She wants to talk!”

Once that warning flashes, it’s only natural for a male to run and hide in his brain’s right side, where his attention is drawn to something like, oh, a football game on TV, a copy of AutoWeek magazine or the ham sandwich and brewski he stashed in the fridge.

Ladies, it’s not that your man isn’t listening, it’s just that he doesn’t know how to verbalize his responses, so he goes all right brain on you. It’s simple self-preservation.

So, fellas, waddaya think? Any chance they’ll buy into that one?

If not, don’t worry. I’m already collecting even more SCIENTIFIC FACT to refute the female assertion that men are boorish, inattentive pig dogs!

580-255-5354, Ext. 172