(WUSA9) -- Science is now confirming something that generations of husbands and wives have already known- women tend to do most of the talking. A study by the University of Maryland's College of Medicine found that on average, women speak about 20,000 words per day. Compare that to the average man, who speaks only 7,000 words per day.
The nearly 3:1 ratio may sound suprisingly high, but Lois Finkelstein, a family lawyer in Chevy Chase, says "women are talking to each other, and they might be talking to their spouse, and the spouse isn't listening".
In her law practice, Finkelstein notices that her female clients are more willing to talk about their feelings, but men tend to keep it more professional. They will talk more openly in negotiations and in business matters, she says, but women are also comfortable talking about their feelings.
The University of Maryland study found that a protein in the brain called FOXP2 is responsible for our desire to speak. The research was conducted with elementary-school age children. The girls in the study had 40% more of the FOXP2 protein in their brains than the boys, which means that it's possible that females are hard-wired genetically to be bigger talkers.