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Male Body Language

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Here are some interesting facts about male body language!

1. Men and Body Language Cues

Men use different areas of their brain to read body language and often are not as good at reading body language as women.

  • Researcher Monika Moore found men often miss a women’s first courtship signal. On average women need to eye-gaze three times before a man takes notice.
  • 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.

2. Men, 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.

3. Men Like Availability Over All Else 

Which body language cue do men find the most attractive? Being available. 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.

  • Flirtation behaviors:
    • Smiling
    • Having an expressive face
    • Minimal arm crossing
    • Keeping hands outside of pockets
    • Intimate eye gazing (from the eyes to the mouth to the body)
    • Leaning towards the other person

4. What is a woman’s favorite male body part?

Legs, butt, chest or arms? The answer: The majority of women favor a man’s butt as her favorite male body part.

5. Male Attraction

Men often point their toes towards the person the are most interested in. If they are not interested in anyone, toes are usually towards the door.

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 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.


  1. Robby Smith

    Such a great article on Body Language! It is so true that we as men miss a lot of cues a woman gives us. I would like to study this further in the Body Language course.

  2. Andrew

    Being in a fraternity it is definitely interesting having this perspective in seeing how men interact with others. A question I want to bring up is men usually lie because they want to be the “alpha male” in the room because women usually prefer the “alpha male” for the attention that comes with it. What is your opinion on the overall “alpha male” philosophy and what are other healthy ways to show you’re a cohesive guy?

  3. Liam Hayes

    Really good stuff. I definitely find availability to be an attractive quality. If a girl flirts with me, that is a huge plus.

  4. Bella Perennis

    Wow, the thing with the brain parts really surprised me. The question is, is this due to socialization or due to biology? What about neuroplasticity, could men learn to activate more parts of their brain when reading body language? And what about the body language of queers, gay, and trans people?

    1. JULIET

      There is no sexual orientation difference. And yes! Men can definitely learn body language. Some of the best body language experts are actually men!

      The brain… it’s actually evolution, most of our body language behaviors come from our “caveman” days and we can subconsciously pick up on these behaviors but thats why its great to actually learn how to read and interpret body language

      1. Bella Perennis

        I didn’t say that men can’t learn it! I just wonder if they use more brain parts as well if they learn it, or if they stick with the parts they already used before learning it.
        Yeah, I know that thing about the caveman stuff, but do we actually know how much of these results are skewed by socialization? I mean, boys are often trained to not show emotions and are discouraged from social games like playing with dolls. This might be a factor for their later ability to read bodylanguage.

        I’d say that there is a sexual orientation difference in how people use body language. Ever wondered how people can tell which people are gay? I observed that a lot of gay people use body language that is slightly off the gender norm, e.g. lesbians who take up more space than most heterosexual women and gays who self touch a lot.

  5. Lauren Freeman

    I was also very surprised to learn that women typically have 14-16 active parts of the brain while men only have 4-6, although Vanessa made sure to mention that that is not a bad thing. Men and women definitely communicate and perceive things differently, but it is important to understand those differences to better understand the men (and women) around you. I have heard a few of these things before from a Gender Communication class I’ve taken, but it’s great to have this information reinforced. I think this will definitely help me understand the nonverbal signals a man in sending, and ones to signal to a man, when I interact with them.

  6. Drishti Narang

    I wonder what triggers more activity in a woman’s brain compared to a man’s? There is often an evolutionary explanation (a theory, of course) on such things.

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  8. Karla

    Personally I would agree that as a female I would lie to protect someone’s feelings. However, I found it interesting that men lied to seem more powerful regardless I think a female’s intuition kicks in when this happens and we can sense some lying. I never realized that men fail to realize a women’s first courtship signal very interesting!

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