Navigation Bar HOME CONTACT PROJECTS PUBLICATIONS RESOURCES SEARCH STAFF face and body human motion pheromones simulation urbanisation



Sex Differences in Negotiations with Powerful Males:

An Ethological Analysis of Approaches to Nightclub Doormen

Frank Salter*, Karl Grammer** , Anja Rikowski**
* Max-Planck-Society - Filmarchive for Humanethology, Andechs (Germany)
** Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethology. Vienna (Austria)

Human Nature, Fall 2005, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 305-320.

A hypothesis derived from evolutionary theory and previous qualitative observationis that male and female subordinates deploy different interpersonal signals to obtainconcessions from powerful males. The present study tested this hypothesis by means of a quantitative naturalistic observational method. Would-be patrons were videotaped approaching the entrance of an exclusive nightclub in Munich, Germany, where doormen control entry. Patrons’ dominance, affiliative, and sexual signals in gestures and dress were coded for conditions of low and high doorman threat. Although both sexes used appeasing gestures of smiles and greetings, females deployed many appeasements using affiliative and courtship signals while males tended to withhold appeasements by masking agonistic affect. Moreover, when approaching larger numbers of doormen, males accelerated while females slowed down. The evolutionary hypothesis was confirmed, at least for our German sample, that males and females use some different strategies for minimizing threat from powerful males.

Female presentation signals towards doormen.

Photos copyright F.Salter


all rights reserved