Female body language, or the body language of women, is not all that different from that of men. However, female body language does have a few noticeable differences 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, 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 usually are correlated with high levels of estrogen, which means the woman is more fertile. In men, women like legs, butt, chest and arms. The majority of women favor a man’s butt as her favorite male body part.

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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 their feet spread farther apart. This ‘claiming of territory’ is a subconscious cue to men that the woman is feeling confident.

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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 other’s feelings or to make others feel better about themselves.

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4. Women and Body Language Cues

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

  • Monica Moore,  a professor of Experimental Psychology at Webster University in St. Louis, 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 percent of the time, but men could guess correctly only 42 percent 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. MRI scans reveal that women have 14 to 16 active brain areas while evaluating others, whereas men only have four to six active.

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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 never should come up 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 versus the best-looking woman in the room.

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6. Likeable Female Body Language:

What do people consider “likable” body language? Here are some of the behaviors that are attractive and likable across 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 toward the other person
  • Subtle mirroring

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

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a national best selling author & founder at Science of People. Her groundbreaking book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People has been translated into more than 16 languages. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma. She regularly leads innovative corporate workshops and helps thousands of individual professionals in her online program People School. Vanessa works with entrepreneurs, growing businesses, and trillion dollar companies; and has been featured on CNN, BBC, CBS, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, the Today Show and many more.

24 replies on “Female Body Language”

  1. Joe

    Hasan, I’m afraid the only person who cares about your hostility to challenging ideas is YOU. Chill out. With wisdom we can determine what we can change and what we cannot. Ranting will not change others ideas, much less their lifestyle choices. The only thing we CAN change is ourselves, and in particular, our attitudes. So, take a deep breath and then exhale slowly …and repeat several times … then relax. Then ask yourself why others making different decisions about their own lifestyle bothers you so much. Ranting yourself into an early grave will achieve nothing. You are worth more than that.

  2. 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”

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!

  5. 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 ?

  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. 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.

  8. 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


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


  9. 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.

    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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

      4. 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.

      5. 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.

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