The Null Device

SIRC Guide to Flirting

Ah yes, the SIRC Guide to Flirting, enumerating the rules of the game in anthropological terms. Useful for Martian scholars of Earth customs, or if you'd like to flirt but the flirting parts of your brain have become rewired for obscure programming languages or train spotting or something like that. Or just read it for the many insights into human psychology that emerge in such a subject:
Research has also shown that men have a tendency to mistake friendly behaviour for sexual flirting. This is not because they are stupid or deluded, but because they tend to see the world in more sexual terms than women. There is also evidence to suggest that women are naturally more socially skilled than men, better at interpreting people's behaviour and responding appropriately. Indeed, scientists have recently claimed that women have a special 'diplomacy gene' which men lack.

The "diplomacy gene" theory makes sense; one thing I've noticed that, in many close couples, a sort of specialisation develops where the woman handles most of the social interaction, even with old friends of her partner. (via one.point.zero)

There are 2 comments on "SIRC Guide to Flirting":

Posted by: bzackey Sun Jun 2 17:38:37 2002

"I've noticed that, in many close couples, a sort of specialisation develops where the woman handles most of the social interaction, even with old friends of her partner."

This is true. My sister-in-law "handles" my brother's relationships with his old drinking buddies to the extent that he is no longer friends with them. Interestingly enough, her opposition to their company would always start out as some sort of rivalry between her and their girlfriends.

Posted by: Toby Fothergill http:// Tue Oct 11 09:58:42 2005

I'm interested to know how this observation was determined to be genetic. Women may be typically more apt in social situations, but I would shy away from a male exclusive genetic origin.

An average man has the same chromosomal set as a woman, excepting the second X chromosome, which is mostly inactive. The additional Y chromosome he carries is also unlikely to turn off any social gene on another chromosome.

Social conditioning is a more plausible culprit. Gender conditioning from an early age still exists; nowhere is this more than evident than in the selection of boys and girls toys. Barbie is probably more aware of social etiquette than G.I. Joe. Maybe girls are more practiced...

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