Illustratingtheir findings on the analytical conversational literature and their own collected data, Kitzinger and Frith (1999) assert that both men and women have a complicatedaptitude to suggest and to understanddenials, countingdenials which do not compriseof the expression ‘no’, and propose that malesassert not to encompass ‘understood’ denials, which obey the rulesof ethnically normative models.
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It can only be paid attention to as egocentricreasoning for coercive conduct.The women included in the focus group mentioned to them that asserting denial for sexual implications was a tough task and they “try to avoid ever having to do it” [p.296].
Kitzinger and Frith (1999) ask why they maintain this philosophy of denial and on the basis of cumulative commonanswers which are based on sexuality, but then end up concluding more radically saying that: that the intricacy of saying “no” is not a deviation. “No” is difficult to say, and it’s normally harder for females, but in the course of usual conversational model, is that “no” is anunfavorable retort, to utilize a scientificexpression from the field of English Language.
Quotingprecedingliterary findings, theyobserve that “[a]cceptances generally involve (i) simple acceptance; and (ii) no delay” however “refusals very rarely involve ‘just saying no’” [p. 300].
This is not just accepting or refuting to have sexual intimacy — those are normal expressions used in the daily English language. The principles for allowing non preferable conversational expressions are not specific to genders only. Instead a couple of researches on normal English Language conversations haveproved that they are used regularly by both genders.
Sexual refusals are not extraordinary in this respect. The informants included in the focus group by Kitzinger and Frith (1999) spoke about techniques they utilized and were successful in avoiding sexual advances made towards themand in their knowledge, men tend to have no such obscurityinferring such techniquesas denials or refusals.
Generally the expression ‘no’ was considered to be non-significantly challenging; some women further asserted that they would sound dumb if they said it. The technique they most favored entailed actions such as hesitating, hedging or palliatingand exhaustion (Kitzinger and Frith).
In the expressions of discourse analysis, denial is a non-preferredway to respond to an incitement or suggestion, divergent with the acceptance which in turn is a preferable move.
What they authors conclude is not that men and women tend to subject themselves to their preferences, however, in the non-technical logic of the expression to accept advances from opposite sex. Instead, it connotates that accommodatingyourself to an invitation from someone in the discourse of interacting is more open a response than refuting it. Acceptances can be blunt and straight, butelaboration is required for refusals.
This article clarifies that it is not always the expression ‘no’ that a woman has to use for refusal to sexual advancements. Refusals are complex in nature and can be better understood also with sophisticated cultural expressions used in English Language. These are not blunt, not straightforward but tend to pass on the message clearly and easily in a quicker manner.
Silence, compliments or lame excuses can further tend to create a doubtful environment. However, men who don’t clearly get the indirect message are considered to be foolish and playing rather dishonestly on their understanding of the message sent across.
How complex are refusals and what implications can other strategies have on getting the message of refusal across?
Kitzinger, Celia and Frith, Hannah. “Just say no? The use of conversation analysis in developing a feminist perspective on sexual refusal.” Discourse & Society 10 (1999): 293–316.