“Manspreading” – that is, men who spread their legs and take up space in public places like the SkyTrain – might be an attractive trait to potential mates, according to a new study from the University of California Berkeley.
In fact, while men are most likely to benefit from “postural expansiveness” when attracting partners, women also benefit from having more open posture.
The study used two methods to collect data: speed dating and a Tinder-like app. In the 144 speed dates that were video recorded, having more open posture nearly doubled a person’s odds of getting a “yes” answer from their dating partner. As for the app, people were more likely to swipe right on pictures of potential suitors who had expansive posture.
Crossing your arms or legs, or making yourself seem smaller – called “contractive” body posture – makes you less desirable to potential dates.
“Expansiveness makes the dating candidate appear more dominant. In a dating world in which success sometimes is determined by a split-second decision rendered after a brief interaction or exposure to a static photograph, single persons have very little time to make a good impression. Our research suggests that a nonverbal dominance display increases a person’s chances of being selected as a potential mate,” reads the study.
In modern dating contexts, initial attraction is determined quicker than ever following a brief interaction or seeing a photograph, and the research suggests the more open your posture is, the more likely you are to be found attractive.