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Female Body Language


Female body language

Female body language or the body language of women is not all that different from males, however there are a few noticeable differences in female body language that both sexes can make note of. Here is a video of my segment with AM Northwest on female body language as well as detailed tips below!

1. Female Flirting Behavior

Men and women have completely different courtship behaviors. Here are some of the behaviors that women do (consciously and subconsciously) while trying to entice a man:

  • Like Marilyn Monroe, women who are trying to entice a man tend to raise their eyebrows and lower their lids because it looks similar to the face women make when they are experiencing pleasure.
  • Looking up and to the side at a man is another ‘come hither’ look from a woman to a man.
  • A sideways glance over a raised shoulder highlights curves and the roundness of the female face. This signifies estrogen and exposes the vulnerability of the neck and releases pheromones. Women instinctively do this when trying to flirt.
  • A woman’s outer genitals are proportionate to her lips. This is called self-mimicry and it helps attract males. Women call attention to their lips by wearing glossy or bright colored lipstick.
  • Women toss their hair or touch their neck when flirting because it exposes the armpit, which releases sex hormones, shows the curvature of the neck and highlights shiny healthy hair.

Women with large eyes, a small nose, full lips and high cheeks are seen by men as more attractive because these features are usually correlated with high levels of estrogen, which means the woman is more fertile. In men, women like legs, butt, and chest and arms. The majority of women favor a man’s butt as her favorite male body part.

@Vvanedwards is sharing the behind the scenes of female flirting! click to tweet 

2. Assertiveness vs Submissiveness

Women struggle with trying to stand their ground while not intimidating men. From a body language perspective this happens in a number of ways. Women use cues of ‘submissiveness’ to show vulnerability, but also can employ certain moves for assertiveness to show they are not pushovers.

  • Women pluck their eyebrows higher up their forehead because it makes them look more helpless. This causes a hormone release in a man’s brain connected with protecting and defending the female.
  • Oddly, a limp wrist or exposed wrists are a sign of submission and both women and homosexual men tend to do this subconsciously when in a room with people they want to attract. This is why while smoking, many women hold the cigarette with one wrist turned out and exposed.
  • When women want to be assertive they can stand with feet spread further apart. This ‘claiming of territory’ is a subconscious cue to men that the woman is feeling confident.

3. Women and Lying

Men and women lie differently. Their motivations for deception are different:

  • Men lie to appear more powerful, interesting, and successful. They lie about themselves eight times more than they lie about others.
  • Women lie less about themselves and more to protect others feelings or to make others feel better about themselves.

4. Women and Body Language Cues

Women are better at sending and picking up body language cues than men. Here’s how:

  • Researcher Monika Moore found men often miss a women’s first eye-gazing courtship signal. On average women need to eye-gaze three times before a man takes notice.
  • In another study participants were asked to decode a silent movie. Women were able to guess what was happening 87% of the time, but men could only guess correctly 42% of the time. Interestingly homosexual men and men in highly emotional jobs (nursing, teaching and acting) did nearly as well as women.
  • Women might be better at reading body language because more of their brain is active when they evaluate other’s behavior. When in an MRI women have 14 to 16 active brain areas while evaluating others, whereas men only have 4 to 6 active.

5. Tips for Men and Women:

Taking into account some of the female body language cues, here are some tips for both men and women:

  • When approaching a woman, men should never come up to a woman from behind, as this will put her on guard. They are better off coming in at an angle and then standing at an angle.
  • You do not need to have perfect looks to attract a man. Studies show that men are more attracted to a woman who engages in flirtation behavior to show she is available over the best-looking woman in the room.

6. Likeable Female Body Language:

What do people consider “likeable” body language. Here are some of the behaviors that are attractive and likeable in both social, business and romantic situations:

  • Smiling
  • Having an expressive face
  • Keeping your hands below chin level (above can be seen as aggressive or over-animated)
  • Minimal arm crossing
  • Keeping hands outside of pockets
  • Triple head nods to show interest
  • Intimate eye gazing (from the eyes to the mouth to the body)
  • Leaning towards the other person
  • Subtle mirroring

Overall, women tend to be more aware of their body language and others body language cues.

Want to learn more about body language and nonverbal communication? Check out our latest book Captivate!

Book Descriptioncaptivate, captivate book, vanessa van edwards

Do you wish you could decode people? Do you want a formula for charisma? Do you want to know exactly what to say to your boss, your date or your networking partner? You need to know how people work.

As a human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards studies the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns in her lab—and she’s cracked the code. In Captivate she shares a wealth of valuable shortcuts, systems and behavior hacks for taking charge of their interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on human behavior and a completely new approach to building connections.

buy captivate on amazon

All Rights Reserved + COPYRIGHT 2013 Science of People, LLC

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and behavioral investigator. She is a Huffington Post columnist and her courses and research has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. As a published Penguin author, Vanessa regularly speaks and appears in the media to talk about her research. She is a sought after consultant and speaker.


28 Comments


  1. Sarah

    Love the information, but it doesn’t just apply to woman/man flirting interactions. Woman/Woman anyone? Come on Vanessa it is 2014!

    1. fistoffury

      Because it is 2014 does not mean every one agree with that. Plenty of people consider it abnormal to this day. Why not go make your own article for that abnormal sexual relationship? Life is centered around male and female and always will be.

      1. Ava

        You don’t know what is going to happen in the future society is always changing. And it is not “abnormal”. Just because you aren’t “different” don’t mean you can’t treat them the same way you want to be treated. Where all human we just want to be loved. What are you going to say next different racies shouldn’t socialize, should’t date? You know it would be boring if we were all the same.

        1. RodTrebZ3765

          We should pray for him, in the hopes that God will touch his heart, and he learns to love others, as Christ loves us all.

          Do you need a friend, Hassan? Has anyone ever loved you?

          Sometimes when we don’t feel loved, we express our hurt and anger by directing those feelings at others, even those who have never harmed us.

          Jesus loves you, Hassan, and Jesus only wants what’s best for you. Talk to Him, and ask Him to show you a better way. Tell Him about your feelings, and ask Him to help you.

          All you have to do is ask.

          Love in Christ,

          Rod T.

      2. Hassan Cheaytilli

        Fucking liberals trying to reform society when in reality it all ties down to biology.

        God now we have “Caitlyn Jenner” and this new transgender, agender, polygender “movement” going on. Bunch of degenerate mentally ill people runnin around these days.

        1. Bella Perennis

          Please stay respectful, degrading other people won’t help your argument. All you are saying is that biology is important because you don’t like people who are different from you.

      3. RodTrebZ3765

        It’s 2015.

        FYI: It won’t be long before any two humans, without regard to gender, will be able to produce offspring. That’ll probably happen in the next 50 years or so. Genetic engineering is the wave of the future in human reproduction.

        There are already organisms in existence which reproduce asexually, as well as organisms which can be either male or female.

        Love in Christ,

        Rod T.

  2. Robby Smith

    It’s so easy to see how we as men can mis these cues, when we haven’t been properly educated on these. Thank you Vanessa for sharing this!

    1. Bella Perennis

      I totally agree on your point about education. I wasn’t educated to see it either, my best friend (who is male) is way better at spotting people who are attracted to me than I am. He taught himself to consciously read body language and is a real people person in general.

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  4. Andrew

    I believe what’s definitely most interesting is I’m willing to bet a lot of women don’t even realize they’re doing these actions!

    1. Bongstar420

      Most women I’ve queried said they expect you to read body language like english

      its dumb and they delude themselves to its superiority

      Which is easier to interpretative.

      I want to have sex

      or

      any number of different combinations of body movements which are believed to be correlated with certain desires

      ??????????????????????????????????

  5. Bella Perennis

    I disagree on the statement about a small nose and the full lips. In his book “The third Chimpanzee” Jared Diamond made a very sound argument about culturally reproduced beauty standards.

  6. Liam Hayes

    It’s interesting that men and women have different body language when trying to attract a mate. Although this makes sense because primitive men and women had different roles and their evolution reinforced the skills they used to survive.

  7. Nikki Thornton

    Awesome post Vanessa! What i learned from this was about womens lips relating to their genitals, I didnt know that fact! So perhaps this is why women pout for the camera?! Amazing as usual Mrs Van Edwards ?

  8. Lauren Freeman

    I loved this article! I’ve learned so many new facts, and reinforced some that I’ve already heard before! As for men and women lying differences, I am personally guilty of lying to people to protect their feelings or make them feel better, it’s so interesting to note the gender difference in that!
    One thing that I’m very pleased about has been learning more about assertiveness and submissiveness. My body language used to be very submissive, and I’ve been actively working on that to change it to be more powerful. One thing that I’ve noticed is that, especially at work, my male coworkers try to take charge of the situations and not let me have a say – and immediately I take up a power pose and “claim my territory” as their equal, and it really does make a difference as they listen to me and it defintely gives me more power in situations where they try to portray me as submissive. Thanks for another great article, Vanessa!!

  9. Drishti Narang

    If only men were better at knowing when a woman is into him…. I’m a forward woman and always come across this.

  10. Bongstar420

    Oh christmas…”Women might be better at reading body language because more of their brain is active when they evaluate other’s behavior.”

    Feed those women Testosterone for a few years and watch their “perceptiveness” dissolve.

    Also feed dudes Estrogen and watch them become “emotionally connected”

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