Friday, July 11, 2008

Misreading Sexual Signals

To an observer from another era, it comes as a mild shock that young men today have troubling discerning women's erotic interest in them.

But researchers at Indiana University and Yale find women are better at interpreting facial expressions and body language, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, and that a substantial percentage of young men are clueless in potentially sexual situations.

Reporting on the research, CNN describes the experience of college administrator at an academic conference in conversation with an attractive woman over a glass of wine, who undid the clasp holding her hair in a bun, let it fall and flipped it side to side. A sign of interest? No, he decided. "I told myself to get real." The woman went off to her room with a puzzled expression--to shampoo her hair, no doubt.

In an era when claims of sexual harassment can follow misreading, such caution is understandable, but it may reflect a difference in communication styles between the sexes, says a "dating coach" who suggests men pay less attention to what women say than how it's said--citing such positive signs as touching on the arm, maintaining eye contact and smiling while talking.

It wasn't simple back in my day either, when we somehow managed without academic researchers or dating coaches, but then again we may have been missing out on all the nuances in the fine art of flirting.

1 comment:

Ravinder Makhaik said...

Fine art of flirting