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Nonverbal courtship patterns in women: Context and consequences

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Abstract

There is a class of nonverbal facial expressions and gestures, exhibited by human females, that are commonly labeled “flirting behaviors.” I observed more than 200 randomly selected adult female subjects in order to construct a catalog of these nonverbal solicitation behaviors. Pertinent behaviors were operationally defined through the use of consequential data; these behaviors elicited male attention. Fifty-two behaviors were described using this method. Validation of the catalog was provided through the use of contextual data. Observations were conducted on 40 randomly selected female subjects in one of four contexts: a singles' bar, a university snack bar, a university library, and at university Women's Center meetings. The results indicated that women in “mate relevant” contexts exhibited higher average frequencies of nonverbal displays directed at males. Additionally, women who signaled often were also those who were most often approached by a man: and this relationship was not context specific.I suggest that the observation of women in field situations may provide clues to criteria used by females in the initial selection of male partners. As much of the work surrounding human attraction has involved laboratory studies or data collected from couples in established relationships, the observation of nonverbal behavior in field settings may provide a fruitful avenue for the exploration of human female choice in the preliminary stages of male-female interaction.
... He found that it was the female's behavior, particularly her facial expressions, which moderated the behavior of the male. Moore (1985), focusing particularly on the courtship behavior of females, analyzed nonverbal signaling within different settings to construct an ethogram of female nonverbal solicitation signals/cues. When a woman elicited certain nonverbal signals/cues (e.g. ...
... More recently, Vacharkulksemsuk et al. (2016) found that Postural Expansiveness, i.e., expanding the body in physical space, was most predictive of attraction, and primarily for men. Moore's (1985, 1989) research, Renninger et al.'s (2004) research, and Vacharkulksemsuk et al.'s (2016 research is informative. However, these were naturalistic studies. ...
... No sex of perceiver differences were also hypothesized. The results were consistent with the hypotheses, and prior research on nonverbal flirtation (Moore, 1985(Moore, , 1989Renninger et al., 2004). Here is a list of the poses in the dyads presented that were chosen as most attractive, and more flirtatious: ...
... Multiple signals reflecting attraction have been catalogued, even if the senders might not always be aware of producing them (Grammer et al., 1998;McCormick & Jones, 1989;Moore, 2010). Coy smiles, genuine smiling, blushing, hair flipping, leaning forward, rolling the pelvis, and head tilting are a few of the signals listed in previous research (Argyle, 1988;Eibl-Eiblsfeldt, 1989;Givens, 1978;Grammer et al., 2000;Moore, 1985Moore, , 2010. Therefore, even if there is no clear-cut expression, there are subtle nonverbal signals that, when expressed, indicate interest and availability. ...
... In all experiments, we consistently found that people are likely to detect attraction when the person observed is indeed exhibiting such signals. Indeed, even though attraction cannot be expressed with a single behaviour (Moore, 1985), people likely have experience in decoding such cues and are thus more likely to detect them efficiently. This is further corroborated by our consistent replication of this effect in initial encounters as well as later in the interactions irrespective of video length (3, 6, and 9 s). ...
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In a series of three studies, we examined whether third-party observers can detect attraction in others based on subtle nonverbal cues. We employed video segments of dates collected from a speed-dating experiment, in which daters went on a brief (approx. 4 min) blind-date and indicated whether they would like to go on another date with their brief interaction partner or not. We asked participants to view these stimuli and indicate whether or not each couple member is attracted to their partner. Our results show that participants could not reliably detect attraction, and this ability was not influenced by the age of the observer, video segment location (beginning or middle of the date), video duration, or general emotion recognition capacity. Contrary to previous research findings, our findings suggest that third-party observers cannot reliably detect attraction in others. However, there was one exception: Recognition rose above chance level when the daters were both interested in their partners compared to when they were not interested. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12144-022-02927-0.
... To the best of our knowledge, no study on human courtship shows that a particular female-to-male courtship behaviour is more effective than others at attracting males. However, when women direct a high number of different courtship behaviours in combination towards men, then they are more likely to be approached by these men, compared to women who court men, but employ a smaller number and less diverse combination of courtship behaviours (Moore, 1985;Moore & Butler, 1989). Consequently, there appears to be an additive effect of courtship behaviours (e.g., hair flipping, averting the gaze downward, head tossing, etc.) that signals high female interest (Grammer, 1990) and enhances the functionality of female courtship in humans (Moore, 1985;Moore & Butler, 1989). ...
... However, when women direct a high number of different courtship behaviours in combination towards men, then they are more likely to be approached by these men, compared to women who court men, but employ a smaller number and less diverse combination of courtship behaviours (Moore, 1985;Moore & Butler, 1989). Consequently, there appears to be an additive effect of courtship behaviours (e.g., hair flipping, averting the gaze downward, head tossing, etc.) that signals high female interest (Grammer, 1990) and enhances the functionality of female courtship in humans (Moore, 1985;Moore & Butler, 1989). ...
Article
We analysed heterosexual consortships in a free-ranging group of Japanese macaques in which adult females routinely perform female-to-male mounting (FMM). We tested whether FMM is more efficient (i.e., a ‘supernormal courtship’ behavioural pattern) than species-typical female-to-male sexual solicitations (FMSS) at prompting subsequent male-to-female mounts (MFM). In a context of high female-female competition for male mates, we found that (1) FMM functioned to focus the male consort partner’s attention as efficiently as FMSS and prevented him from moving away, and (2) FMM was more efficient than species-typical FMSS at expediting MFM (i.e., the most fitness-enhancing sexual behaviour of a mating sequence). We concluded that FMM could be considered a supernormal courtship behavioural pattern in adult female Japanese macaques. This population-specific sexual adaptation may result from a combination of favourable socio-demographic conditions. This study has implications for the evolutionary history of non-conceptive mounting patterns in Japanese macaques and non-conceptive sexuality in humans.
... In its simplest form, given an X, the objective of SCF is to learn a single function f such that Y = f (X). However, an inherent challenge in forecasting behavior is that an observed sequence of interaction does not have a deterministic future and can result in multiple socially valid ones-a window of overlapping speech between people both may and may not result in a change of speaker [12,20], a change in head orientation may continue into a sweeping glance across the room or a darting glance stopping at a recipient of interest [21]. In some cases certain observed behaviors-intonation and gaze cues [5,13] or synchronization in speaker-listener speech [22] for turn-taking-might make some outcomes more likely than others. ...
... With limited behavioral data availability, a common practice in the domain is to train and evaluate methods on synthesized behavior dynamics [31,67]. In keeping with this practice, we construct a synthesized dataset simulating two glancing behaviors in social settings [21]. We use a 1D sinusoid to represent horizontal head rotation over 20 timesteps. ...
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The default paradigm for the forecasting of human behavior in social conversations is characterized by top-down approaches. These involve identifying predictive relationships between low level nonverbal cues and future semantic events of interest (e.g. turn changes, group leaving). A common hurdle however, is the limited availability of labeled data for supervised learning. In this work, we take the first step in the direction of a bottom-up self-supervised approach in the domain. We formulate the task of Social Cue Forecasting to leverage the larger amount of unlabeled low-level behavior cues, and characterize the modeling challenges involved. To address these, we take a meta-learning approach and propose the Social Process (SP) models--socially aware sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) models within the Neural Process (NP) family. SP models learn extractable representations of non-semantic future cues for each participant, while capturing global uncertainty by jointly reasoning about the future for all members of the group. Evaluation on synthesized and real-world behavior data shows that our SP models achieve higher log-likelihood than the NP baselines, and also highlights important considerations for applying such techniques within the domain of social human interactions.
... Corresponding to male advertisement of quality so as to prompt female choice, the female choosing the particular male is basic in evolutionary theory and long ago confirmed in the case of humans. Cross-cultural verbal interaction research by Stephens (1963) showed that notwithstanding men being the sexual initiators, women are the choosers; or, as Moore (1985) put it, the controllers of mate choice (including initiation). This extends to arranged marriage (the dominant form of match-making across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and all but ubiquitous across the world prior to industrialisation), which was and is invariably orchestrated by women: either family members (aunt, elder sister, sister-in-law, or possibly an older matriarch) and/or an outsider female matchmaker. ...
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Women’s mate choice, given profoundly differential male genetic quality (specifically genomic integrity), is heavily skewed towards topmost-ranked males, producing polygyny with residual monogamy and bachelordom. Polygyny is ancestral, as in gorilla harems (aapparently homologous with human female cliques): originally predation-avoidance grouping, male-interposed to obviate female-female stress depressing fertility to sub-replacement (Dunbar). Pair-bonding ensures successive highest-possible-quality offspring while offsetting age-related fertility decline, and dissuading low-mate-value social-sexual approach, thereby actually facilitating access by (or to) high-mate-value males for extra-pair conception. It’s a female fertility platform and springboard for its enhancement. Failure properly to incorporate male heterogeneity and female discernment explains a longstanding theoretical impasse, with infanticide prevention a default mistaken hypothesis attempting to account for monogamy’s chimerical opportunity costs.
... This interceding male Dunbar dubs the bodyguard, which is to borrow a term coined by Mesnick (1997) but which was on the understanding that deterrence was of male aggression. Dunbar himself formerly had considered the bodyguard to dissuade unwanted social-sexual advances from males, which had been proposed by Lumkin (1983), and as a possible basis of primate pair-bonding by Norscia & Borgognini-Tarli (2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Women’s mate choice, given profoundly differential male genetic quality (specifically genomic integrity), is heavily skewed towards topmost-ranked males, producing polygyny with residual monogamy and bachelordom. Polygyny is ancestral, as in gorilla harems (apparently homologous with human female cliques): originally predation-avoidance grouping, male-interposed to obviate female-female stress depressing fertility to sub-replacement (Dunbar). Pair-bonding ensures successive highest-possible-quality offspring while offsetting age-related fertility decline, and dissuading low-mate-value social-sexual approach, thereby actually facilitating access by (or to) high-mate-value males for extra-pair conception. It’s a female fertility platform and springboard for its enhancement. Failure properly to incorporate male heterogeneity and female discernment explains a longstanding theoretical impasse, with infanticide prevention a default mistaken hypothesis attempting to account for monogamy’s chimerical opportunity costs.
Book
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A House on Water; A Comprehensive Study on Sigheh Mahramiat and Temporary Marriage in Iran Download a free copy of the book through Amazon, Google book and Google play This fieldwork study supports the view that temporary marriage is a back door to sexual exploitation. According to the study’s findings, mut'ah is a practice that lacks redeeming values and positive functions. Rather, it causes harms such as child marriage, the collapse of the foundations of family life, and negative attitudes towards permanent marriage. In fact, child marriage is partly the result of the tradition of sigheh mahramiat which paves the road for an increase in child marriage in Iran. It is performed in some Iranian families when their sons and daughters are in early puberty, or even before then, to supervise the sexual behaviour of children, to prevent them from committing a sin, for fear that girls will remain unmarried when they are older, to fight against social and cultural pressures related to communication between young girls and boys, and to facilitate smoother relations between two families.
Chapter
Current models of romantic relationship development in cisgender, heterosexual individuals have a gap. They include the initial stages of human courtship—what happens before people become romantically committed (for example, flirting), and they also focus on what happens after a romantic relationship has been established. We focus on the missing phase, which we call the communication of romantic interest. This is the point in this sequence when at least one person’s desire or intention to enter into an emotionally (and, possibly sexually) close, committed relationship is expressed. We compare the verbal and nonverbal cues used by men and women to flirt, based on the literature, to those they use to express romantic interest, based on our research. Finally, we emphasize the need to explore the courtship process for different genders and sexual orientations, which is important for both theoretical and practical reasons.
Chapter
Nonverbal communication plays an instrumental role in the process of meeting someone in a potential romantic encounter, starting from determining if they are attractive, if they are interested in a relationship with us, and whether we would be compatible. In this chapter we highlight not just the nonverbal signs and signals of attraction, but attempt to articulate a deeper evolutionary derived meaning and reason for them. We examine the static features of faces and bodies that we find attractive, their relationship to health, fertility, and dominance (reproductive fitness), and then move to the dynamic nonverbal actions suggesting romantic interest, such as arousal and engagement, and finish by articulating those nonverbal markers that indicate attention, trust, and commitment. We hope this exploration of the static and dynamic characteristics of people will better illustrate how evolution can explain why and when people are attracted to each other.
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Territorial behavior of the Uganda kob (Adenota kob thomasi; Reduncini, Hippotraginae) was studied in the Toro Game Reserve, western Uganda. Two types of territories were found: (a) small individual plots, 15-30 m in diameter, aggregated in tight clusters that are called leks, arenas, or territorial breeding grounds (TGs) ; (b) larger territories of 100-200 m diameter, distributed between the arenas, called single territories (STs). The largely permanent TGs, to which most of the breeding is confined, provide the basis for a social organization of the kob population of ca. 15 000. A certain number of kob are, by tradition, attached to a particular TG, so that the total population is subdivided into units, each associated with one TG. STs are spread out between the TGs; their size, number, and distribution vary with season and local conditions. There is an irregular gradient in size and density of territories from the center of a TG through the STs in its vicinity. STs may be aggregated in loose clusters used as temporary or seasonal TGs. Permanent TGs may arise from such clusters. Abandonment of existing and formation of new TGs are relatively rare. The males on the STs are strongly attached to confined areas which they defend against intruding males. Competition for STs is not intense, but males are occasionally replaced. Males defeated from their STs join a male herd and may attempt later to reoccupy the same ST, often successfully. Whistling probably serves for marking the territory or for attracting females to it. Herds of females often pass through or stay on STs, but the males do not possess harems. They court the female and attempt to copulate with them, but most females avoid their approaches. Few copulations occur on the STs; in several cases the females involved proved to be physiologically abnormal, and it is concluded that the males on STs do not contribute significantly to the reproduction of the population. The daily activity of males on the STs is compared with that of males on TGs. The latter spend less time for feeding and have less food available on their territories; this, combined with the higher proportions of fighting and sexual behavior on TGs, is propably the main reason for the much higher rate of interchange of males on TGs compared with STs. Also, the degree of competition for territories is higher on TGs than STS. The males of the kob population studied are, on the whole, divided into two categories: Those frequenting TGs, and those staying on STs. Both types join a male herd when they are not territorial. The age distribution among males on TGs and those on STs is largely equal. Some males occupied both territories on a TG and STs, but such cases are relatively rare. Two young-adult males first occupied a ST for some time, before they appeared on a TG, but this course of behavioral development does not seem to be the general rule. Territorial behavior was found in several other kob populations; the relative number of STs and the development of TGs vary considerably between different areas. Territoriality and lek behavior in other ungulates are briefly reviewed. The Uganda kob is the only antelope known, so far, to exhibit typical lek behavior. In addition, behavioral polymorphism such as the occurrence of different types of territories within the same population has not yet been found in any other species of antelopes. The following conclusions pertaining to the Uganda kob are drawn: STs are the original form of territoriality, still prevalent in small or marginal populations. In large and dense populations the formation of TGs offers certain ecologic advantages, such as providing a social organization and a spacing mechanism to the population and ensuring maximum efficiency of reproduction. Despite these advantages of TGs over STs the latter have not disappeared. Either they provide some social advantage, as yet unknown, or their persistence ensures adaptive plasticity of local populations and the species as a whole, to meet emergencies brought about by changes in the environment.
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The structural-functional views of Talcott Parsons are used as the rationale for predicting sex differences in dating aspirations and partner satisfaction. Blind dates were arranged for 500 male and 500 female students by an I.B.M. computer. Evidence was found to support the hypotheses that 1) women would have higher aspirations for a dating partner, in the sense of more socially desired characteristics, than would men; and that 2) women would register a high degree of satisfaction less frequently than men following the first date. The findings are compared with popular notions of male-female tendencies for romantic love at first acquaintance.
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This study investigates the role of female color, size, and dominance, and the influence of early color experience in mate selection by male Convict cichlids, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum. Dark wild-type male fish were reared by dark parents in dark schools (dark homogenous group), and by mixed dark and white parents in mixed schools (dark mixed group), until sexual maturity. Correspondingly a white homogenous group and a white mixed group were also established. Each male was then allowed to choose a mate among two dark (mixed group) and two white (mixed group) females. Males tended to spawn more often with dark females and always spawned with dominant females. Female size is positively correlated with female dominance and this may be either as a cause or as an effect of female dominance. Early color experience appears to be unimportant in male mate selection.