Gender Differences in Body Language
Often we are asked if there are gender differences in body language. In the past 20-30 years, the conventional perception was that in general, women are more communicative than men, both literally and with their body language. Today, the gap is blurry.
Women and men express the same body language positions, gestures and facial expressions, that’s why it’s called body language. It’s a matter of communication, if there were too many differences we couldn’t have called it ”language”.
It is very crucial to look at a cluster of gestures pointing at the same direction and not only at one gesture before coming to any conclusion, it’s as if we are listening to one word out of a whole sentence and assume we understand it.
Even today, in modern life, there are slight gender differences in the extent and duration of gestures, yet the distinction requires more training and experience than learning basic body language.
1. Everyone stroke their hair with their fingers – in women, the duration is slightly longer.
2. Men and women will both bite their lower lip in times of stress, lick their lips when sensing dry mouth or attraction, in women though it’s more observable because it is a bit more frequent and sustained.
3. Women are capable of tilting their head longer than men while listening to others, perhaps because they concentrate more on the verbal communication’s details which creates the whole picture. You can see an example of this situation when two men sit at a restaurant table, they usually will sit facing each other. Women, will often sit side by side.
4. Women and men blink frequently when they are interested in the conversation. With women it’s just more obvious and noticeable to the eye of the observer. It could be because of their makeup.
5. Men and women tend to surround themselves with little things such as phone, keys, etc. Men do it more to the front to mark frontal boundaries while women tend to put things on their side, perhaps to “protect against harassment,”
In men: the signals are simplistic - legs apart, more hair stroking, they stare longer at the woman, they play more with objects, more self-touch (more means more than usual, not more than women), hands tucked in belt toward the pelvis, opening a shirt button, and hands in pocket.
In women: Body language is far richer - lower the shirt sleeve, play longer with their hair, emphasize thighs movements, more licking lips, more legs crossing exchange, they will remove their feet from shoe, more stretching to enhance their chest, keep legs apart.
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