Using two months of mixed-gender chat room discourse records from eight Chinese college students and results of questionnaires from 80 students, this study observed a consistent pattern in the gender discourse in social-based computer-mediated contexts. In both the chat room observation and survey, the study found that males chatted more about women, video games, and sports, while females chatted more about friendship and other small matters. When surveyed, the college students indicated they believed that females chatted more than males, but a quantitative sentence count during chat found males used more sentences. In the chat room, males used more Chinese phonetic symbols and pseudonym inventions than females. Females used more emotion icons and creative language and, when chatting with a male with whom they were familiar, they showed their power and used gender-neutral expressions more often. Both males and females preferred to fashion their chat room pseudonyms so as to attract the opposite gender and demonstrate their personal qualities. The implications for the construction of gendered language in cyberspace were discussed and suggestions for foreign language teaching are given. Copyright © 2013 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH.
CitationChen, H. C., & Wang, M. J. (2013). Gender discourse patterns of Taiwan college students in social-based computer-mediated chat rooms. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 36(3), 368-385.
- Social discourse
- Sex role