The Dearth of Interaction about Taboo Themes between Swahili Males and Females: Is it Emanating from the Differences in Euphemisms Choice?
Swahili speakers confirm the presence of little interaction between males and females about taboo themes irrespective of the age of the interlocutors. The tendency is speculatively attributed to religion and patriarchy in society. However, a plausible cause, such as the difference in language use between males and females, had not been investigated before the current study. Consequently, the present study compared euphemism usage between Swahili male and female speakers on sex, sexual subjects, and other taboo subjects to correlate the communication tendencies and the amount of communication between the two genders. The tested null hypothesis was, “There is no significant difference in euphemism usage between male and female Swahili speakers." The t-test was based on data from 192 males and 192 females. The finding indicates that only three out of eleven taboo topics had gender-based discrepancies in the use of euphemisms among Swahili speakers. The result implies that the speech differences between males and females are not responsible for the shortfall of interaction about sensitive topics among Swahili speakers. In this regard, further correlational tests are suggested to establish the actual cause of this phenomenon which affects the welfare of society
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