To all our readers who threw a hissyfit when we observed that the use of hedge words is an indication of effeminacy, check out this article from the Washington Post reporting a study done by two UT researchers from Austin, Richard B. Slatcher and professor James W. Pennebaker, who did a computer analysis of the words and speech patters of our two presidential candidates from the past election, along with their running mates.
Their findings? The two vice-presidential candidates defined the ends of the spectrum on masculinity and femininity. Edwards sounded like a "girly-man." He "was the most likely to use feminine speech patterns and 'female' words," while Cheney "sounded most like a man's man." How did the study define feminine language?
They defined it as the "use of words and speech patterns favored by women."
And all good Christians who have lost their ability to think biblically, to be salt and light--particularly in matters of sexuality, say, "Horrors! Are these researchers generalizing? Have they fallen into using sexual stereotypes? How could they be so insensitive, so deameaning to women? Women don't talk like that. And even if they do, it's not polite to say so."
So again, wellmeaning Christians trout out old feminist canards, thinking it demonstrates their Christian compassion: "Sex means nothing, NOTHING, beyond body parts. There aren't male and female speech patterns--that's a stereotype. Look! John Edwards is a man and he talks that way, too!"
If we live by faith and the Word of God, it should be Christians reminding the world of the meaning and nature of sexuality. It shouldn't be left to researchers and the Washington Post.