Getty Images stock

TODAY   |  February 21, 2013

New study explains why women talk more than men

Previous research has shown women talk almost three times as much as men, and now a new study has gotten to the bottom of why that’s the case. NBC’s Andrea Canning reports and David Gregory’s wife calls in to say the opposite is true in her home.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> take it from here, david. the women talk too much. we have a possible reason why. i don't know what this is about. go ahead, andrea, tell us.

>> i don't know this applies to david. you guys were giving him quite the beating during the break. he talks a lot, right?

>> he does. he's a chatty kathy .

>> research shows women talk almost three times as much as men.

>> what?

>> i like to think we're better communicators, there may be a biological reason as well.

>> women like to talk a lot.

>> yes, i know.

>> reporter: we've come a long way but women just can't seem to escape the old stigma.

>> wow, she just never shuts up, does she?

>> reporter: we talk too much. is it true? do we talk too much?

>> yes, we do. we talk. women want to be heard. men don't listen so we have to keep repeating ourselves over and over to make sure we're heard.

>> reporter: you like to do all the work and listen. and just say yes now and then?

>> yes? and uh-huh.

>> reporter: the average woman speaks up to 20,000 words a day, that's 13,000 more than the average man. new research says there may be a reason women are better communicators, a biological explanation for all those chatty kathies out there. scientists from the university of maryland school of medicine discovered there are higher levels of a language protein called fox p 2 in female brains. we discovered this protein, fox p2 is involved in vocalizations.

>> reporter: they studied a small group of young children and found 30% more of the protein in the brains of the girls.

>> we can't say this is the end all be all reasoning, but it is one of the first avenues with which we can start to explore why women tend to be more verbal than men.

>> reporter: what's your breaking point?

>> breaking point where you just want to say shut-up. that's my breaking point.

>> okay.

>> women generally speak more quickly and devote more brainpower to language.

>> i take away that women have a gift for communication and expression.

>> absolutely. as i said, more highly evolved. we'll talk more about that.

>> i have to admit i bump that story yo type. i was talking in college and a young woman was listening to me and she goes like this and i said, what is it? she said, you are talking a hole in my head. there's more to the story.

>> see, there he goes.

>> you were saying your wife is a big chatter. she talks all the time.

>> i did not say that.

>> can she really get a word in?

>> let's ask her because beth wilkinson is on the phone right now.

>> oh, no. good morning to you.

>> hi, honey, how are you?

>> sweetheart, how are you?

>> nice of you, savannah to let me actually officially get a word in edge-wise. i appreciate you.

>> is he like this at home, beth?

>> so i can actually speak to my husband and have him listen to me.

>> the floor is yours.

>> that story about the hole in the head is true, i think i have an indentation myself.

>> so he's really the chatterer in the family?

>> he is quite chatty. whereas with me at dinners, mornings, noon, night, he's pretty chatty.

>> we've noticed.

>> beth often tells me that, you know, stop talking about yourse yourself. be a better listener. when we first met she would be reading the paper, don't you want to talk?

>> ah.

>> when talking, does he talk a lot about his man bags?

>> that's a very unfortunate topic, al and i wish you hadn't brought that up.

>> wise that unfortunate?

>> she's a woman of 2350u worfew words herself. beth wilkinson , thank you so much for getting on the phone. just say yes all the way, you're always right.

>> thanks so much and thanks for keeping our house quiet this week.