Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 9, pp 682–694

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

  • Brandi N. Frisby
  • Megan R. Dillow
  • Shelbie Gaughan
  • John Nordlund
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-010-9864-5

Cite this article as:
Frisby, B.N., Dillow, M.R., Gaughan, S. et al. Sex Roles (2011) 64: 682. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9864-5

Abstract

Guided by Relational Framing and Parental Investment Theories, this investigation examined experimentally induced flirtatious interactions. United States undergraduates (N = 252) from the Mid-Atlantic region viewed a flirtatious interaction and rated a confederate on physical and social attraction, affiliation, dominance, and conversational effectiveness. Generally, it was hypothesized that different flirting motivations would lead to different evaluations of the flirters, and perceptions of flirters would vary based on gender. Results revealed that men were evaluated as more dominant and affiliative than women when flirting, but dominance in men was not perceived as attractive or conversationally effective. In addition, men’s attraction to women increased significantly when women flirted for sexual motives, and women’s attraction to men decreased significantly when men flirted for fun. Overall, the results provide mixed support for both theories.

Keywords

FlirtingParental Investment TheoryRelational Framing TheoryAttractionConversational effectiveness

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandi N. Frisby
    • 1
  • Megan R. Dillow
    • 2
  • Shelbie Gaughan
    • 2
  • John Nordlund
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonKYUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication StudiesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA