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.
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The authors express thanks to Carl La Fong.
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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