Opening lines were conceptualized as a method for expanding one's marketplace for dating and marriage partners. In Study 1, university students and employees rated opening lines used by men for meeting women. Respondents (n=600) in one survey rated opening lines for general situations. Respondents (n=431) in a second survey rated opening lines for specific situations, including bars, restaurants, supermarkets, laundromats, and beaches. In Study 2, university students and employees (n=831) rated opening lines used by women for meeting men in general situations. Factor analyses identified three categories of opening lines: cute-flippant, innocuous, and direct. Overall, respondents agreed that cute-flippant opening lines were the least desirable and that innocuous and direct opening lines were the most desirable. Within this general consensus, there was a consistent tendency for women to dislike cute-flippant opening lines more than men and to prefer innocuous opening lines more than men. These differences were related to sex role socialization. Discussion focused on reasons people persist in using cute-flippant opening lines and on an attributional analysis of responses to opening lines.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Abbey, A. Sex differences in attributions for friendly behavior: Do males misperceive females' friendliness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1982, 42, 830–838.
Bellack, A. S., & Hersen, M. (Eds.). Research and practice in social skills training. New York: Plenum, 1979.
Byrne, D. The attraction paradigm. New York: Academic Press, 1971.
Cary, M. S. The role of gaze in the initiation of conversation. Social Psychology, 1978, 41, 269–271.
Curran, J. P. Skills training as an approach to the treatment of heterosexual-social anxiety: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 1977, 84, 140–157.
Derlega, V. J., & Chaikin, A. L. Sharing intimacy: What we reveal to others and why. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1975.
Greene, B. Direct male. Esquire, November, 1980, 18–20.
Jones, E. E., & Wortman, C. Ingratiation: An attributional approach. Morristown, N.J.: General Learning Press, 1973.
Kerckhoff, A. C. The social context of interpersonal attraction. In T. L. Huston (Ed.), Foundations of interpersonal attraction. New York: Academic Press, 1974.
Kleinke, C. L. First impressions: The psychology of encountering others. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1975.
Kleinke, C. L. Effects of personal evaluations. In G. J. Chelune (Ed.), Self-disclosure: Origins, patterns, and implications of openness in interpersonal relationships. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1979.
Kleinke, C. L. Meeting and understanding people. New York: Freeman, 1986.
Kleinke, C. L., Kahn, M. L., & Tully, T. B. First impressions of talking rates in opposite-sex and same-sex interactions. Social Behavior and Personality, 1979, 7, 81–91.
Kleinke, C. L., Staneski, R. A., & Weaver, P. Evaluation of a person who uses another's name in ingratiating and noningratiating situations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1972, 8, 456–466.
Knapp, M. L. Nonverbal communication in human interaction. New York: Holt, 1978.
Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. The psychology of sex differences. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1974.
Mosher, D. L., & Sirkin, M. Measuring a macho personality constellation. Journal of Research in Personality, 1984, 18, 150–163.
Nie, N. H., Hull, C. H., Jenkins, J. G., Steinbrenner, K., & Bent, D. H. Statistical package for the social sciences (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975.
Rubin, Z. Linking and loving: An invitation to social psychology. New York: Holt, 1973.
Schlenker, B. R. Impression management. Montery, Calif.: Brooks/Cole, 1980.
Staneski, R. A., Kleinke, C. L., & Meeker, F. B. Effects of ingratiation, touch, and use of name on evaluation of job applicants and interviewers. Social Behavior and Personality, 1977, 5, 13–19.
Weiner, B., Frieze, I. H., Kukla, A., Reed, L., Rest, S., & Rosenbaum, R. M. Perceiving the causes for success and failure. Morristown, N.J.: General Learning Press, 1971.
The authors express thanks to Carl La Fong.
About this article
Cite this article
Kleinke, C.L., Meeker, F.B. & Staneski, R.A. Preference for opening lines: Comparing ratings by men and women. Sex Roles 15, 585–600 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288216
- Social Psychology
- Specific Situation
- Role Socialization
- General Consensus