Monday, March 17, 2003


The science of flirting

The reason men often mistake the slightest sign of friendliness from a woman as amorous invitation has been resolved by social scientists.

Male over-optimism - often followed by a clumsy chat-up attempt - is triggered by women sending out a series of subtle and highly deceptive flirting signals known as "proteans" when they meet a prospective mate....

Surprisingly, the researchers found two-thirds of flirtatious encounters are initiated by women. They share the characteristic - known as "female proceptivity" - with other species, such as chimpanzees.

"Chimpanzee females, for example, actively solicit sex with males, going so far as to pull a resting male to his feet and insist on copulation," the report says....