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He Said, She Said

Stephen Fry examines whether men and women really use and understand language differently.

Stephen Fry examines whether men and women really use and understand language differently.

Is there a genuine gender language barrier, or is it just something we made up to amuse ourselves, or to castigate each other?

As a former presenter on Woman's Hour, Sue MacGregor has a unique insight into the way men used to use language to patronise or dominate, and recalls one of her guests on the programme referring to her as 'my dear'.

But as women began to win equality there was a genuine need to discover whether and how women and men differed in the way they spoke.

Cast aside all memories of cartoon strips, Woody Allen movies, sitcoms and diatribes on political correctness or questionable seaside postcards.

This programme gets to the truth, with the aid of academics, a bit of comedy from Ronnie Barker, a sex change surgeon and a speech therapist. Do people who want to change their sex also want to change the way they use language?

Producer: Ian Gardhouse
A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4.

28 minutes

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Producer Nick Baker

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