Flirting with Meaning: An Examination of Miscommunication in Flirting Interactions

  title={Flirting with Meaning: An Examination of Miscommunication in Flirting Interactions},
  author={David Dryden Henningsen},
  journal={Sex Roles},
Men tend to view women's behaviors as more sexual than do women in cross-sex interactions (e.g., Abbey, 1982). This difference may result because men view specific behaviors as sexually motivated, whereas women attribute a different motivation to the behaviors. It is proposed that people flirt for a variety of different reasons including the desire to increase sexual interaction. Six flirting motivations derived from the literature are considered in this study: sex, fun, exploring, relational… 

Flirting with Gender: The Complexity of Gender in Flirting Behavior

Previous research on non-verbal courtship behavior (flirting) has been conducted almost exclusively with heterosexual participants and has relied upon an evolutionary-based, reproduction driven

Flirtatious Communication: An Experimental Examination of Perceptions of Social-Sexual Communication Motivated by Evolutionary Forces

Guided by Relational Framing and Parental Investment Theories, this investigation examined experimentally induced flirtatious interactions. United States undergraduates (N = 252) from the

Sex and the Perceived Effectiveness of Flirtation Techniques

Three studies were implemented in order to ascertain how men and women flirt with potential partners, and whether or not there are sex differences in which flirtatious actions are considered most

Social–Sexual Interactions? Meta-Analyses of Sex Differences in Perceptions of Flirtatiousness, Seductiveness, and Promiscuousness

Scholars have assessed the degree to which heterosexual men and women make differential judgments of flirtatiousness, seductiveness, and promiscuousness during cross-sex interactions. Findings from

The “How” and “Why” of Flirtatious Communication Between Marital Partners

Flirtatious communication between spouses is an understudied, yet important, phenomenon which may differentiate which marriages will persevere. Flirting with a spouse potentially derives positive

Flirtation Rejection Strategies: Toward an Understanding of Communicative Disinterest in Flirting.

Introduction Flirtation can be an efficacious pathway to a number of prosocial outcomes, including progressive communication, romantic interest, and sexual encounters, and is a common practice among

Beauty and the Flirt: Male Physical Attractiveness and Approaches to Relationship Initiation

This multi-study investigation explored how women evaluate men’s approach strategies. In Study 1, 330 participants generated 546 verbal strategies used in courtship initiation. Strategies were rated


  • Psychology
  • 2006
Sexual agency, or the active assertion of one’s feelings and desires, is generally absent from socially acceptable standards of female sexuality. Categories such as “slut” implicate the sexual

How to Flirt Best: The Perceived Effectiveness of Flirtation Techniques

Four studies were implemented in order to ascertain how men and women flirt with potential partners and which flirtatious actions are considered most effective. Study 1 (n = 40) and Study 2 (n = 60)



Gender Differences in Nonverbal Flirtation

A naturalistic observation study of 70 couples indicated that women play a subtle yet major role in the initiation and maintenance of flirtation. Compared with men, women were more likely to gaze at

Looking deeper: Extradyadic behaviors, jealousy, and perceived unfaithfulness in hypothetical dating relationships

This report expands on past research dealing with extradyadic (ED) relations in dating relationships by examining behaviors beyond those of a strictly sexual or romantic nature that college-age men

Flirting Between College Students and Faculty

Abstract Recently the question of sexual interaction between students and educators has emerged as a significant social issue. In order to determine the purpose and consequences of one form of sexual

The effects of nonverbal cues on gender differences in perceptions of sexual intent

Males rated female targets as more seductive, sexy, and promiscuous, and expressed more sexual attraction to the opposite-sexed target, than females did for both ambiguous and nonambiguous nonverbal cues.


This article discusses three basic strategies used by women coal miners to manage sexual harassment. “Ladies” sought to cast men into roles as gentlemen and withdrew socially when they encountered

Friendly or Sexy?: It May Depend on Whom You Ask

A set of three studies replicated and extended Abbey's (1982) research, indicating that men perceive less friendliness, but more sexuality than women when observing women's social interactions. Study

Gender Differences in Receptivity to Sexual Offers

According to cultural stereotypes, men are more eager for sex than are women; women are more likely to set limits on such activity. In this paper, we review the work of theorists who have argued in

Perceiving flirtatious communication: An exploration of the perceptual dimensions underlying judgments of flirtatiousness

Perceptual dimensions underlying flirtatiousness judgments were examined in a three‐phased study. This study was conducted to answer the following research questions: (a) What perceptual dimensions

Misperceptions of Friendly Behavior as Sexual Interest: A Survey of Naturally Occurring Incidents

The studies described in this article examine retrospective reports of naturally occurring misperceptions of friendliness as sexual interest. Previous research has demonstrated that men perceive

Persistence of Men's Misperceptions of Friendly Cues Across A Variety of Interpersonal Encounters

This study examined whether gender differences in sexually based perceptions of social interactions persist when traditional male-female power roles are reversed, when the interaction becomes