A Gender-based Analysis of Refusals as a Face Threatening Act: A Case Study of Iranian EFL Learners

Dr. Bahar Pourshahian 

Abstract
Politeness is a phenomenon which is common to all cultures. Each culture has a different perception of what is polite and each language has various devices for expressing politeness. Besides, gender can be considered as an important variable in language use and research suggest that men and women use language differently. Speech acts is not an exception. Thus, this study investigates gender differences of EFL learners in making refusals. To analyze this, a DTC questionnaire consisting of fourteen situations was given to 100 students (50 male / 50 female) asking them to write how they would make refusals for each situation. The results of the analysis indicated that both male and female students use substantially more indirect strategies than direct strategies in most cases. Although indirect strategies are preferred by these two groups, there still exists difference between male and female subjects in terms of the probability of indirectness. Female students’ refusals tend to be more gentle and indirect than those of male students. Female students like to explain reasons, and they prefer to use detailed and specific response instead of a direct “no”. By contrast, male students’ refusals tend to be direct, brief and even blunt. Besides, male and female students have different tendency in four different refusing situations

DOI: 10.32996/ijllt.2019.2.5.19 
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