Document Type

Research Paper






This paper argues that the ways cisgender men versus women tend to respond to compliments can be related to the ways that cisgender men and women tend to give compliments in same-sex interactions (SSIs), based on the framework of politeness. In order to construct this argument, this paper draws on literature review, specifically works that have been authored and published by other scholars in the field of language and gender. Many of these scholars study the giving of compliments and the receiving of compliments, but those two concepts are often studied separately. As such, this paper adds to the field of language and gender by linking together the giving of compliments and the receiving of compliments. In terms of the different ways that compliments are given, some past scholars find that women are likelier to use a more complicated syntactic pattern of complimenting (Holmes 2002); women are likelier to use first-person compliments (Herbert 1990); and women are likelier to use “compliment intensifiers and personal referencing” than are men (Johnson et al 1992). The ways compliments are given could explain why women are likelier to accept compliments in SSIs, whereas men are likelier to deflect or reject compliments in SSIs (Cai 2012). This study is helpful to the general public because it gives insights into how people of any gender, regardless of their linguistics background or lack thereof, can give compliments that are likelier to be mutually beneficial.