The Ways Woman Provokes Man To Be Protective

Swami Sachchidanand

After reading the article, see if you can pick out the childlike cues in this photo.

After reading the article, see if you can pick out the childlike cues in this photo.

Like studying other categories of nonverbal behavior; expressions, and displays, the different patterns through which males and females bond, can be really fascinating and interesting. Unlike other nonverbal displays and expressions, human courtship is very dramatic, poetic and colorful because it holds some exciting promises. Social psychologists and researchers analyze biological, physical, and psychological displays and expressions of both men and women and attempt to decode an unconscious and evolutionarily proven goal behind each distinct nonverbal clue.

However, courtship, flirtation, and seduction are three different domains in which a men or women try to attract members of the opposite sex into a relationship – depending on its duration, kind of engagement, individual preferences, and social constraints. In courtship, which can be quite an elaborate and long running process, both men and women have different strategies to attract, bond with, and retain a partner. Courtship is the process which lasts even after the establishment of a firm connection between the two partners e.g. post-marital displays of affiliation and bonding.

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In any kind of relationship, both genders have to surrender themselves to each other to some extent. Both have to invest time, share space and resources, and engage physically and psychologically with one another. As we know, when compared to men, on a biological and psychological basis, women have to invest and risk more in the relationship. Nature, or evolution, has burdened women with the unique responsibilities of bearing and rearing children, so it has provided them with physical beauty, intelligence, and psychological skills useful to graduating children up through to adulthood.

Interestingly enough, women who seek a long term romantic relationship have a large arsenal of nonverbal clues they display towards their desired partner. However, courtship researchers are left with a puzzle. What exactly makes a man go weak in the knees for a woman? What nonverbal and biological signals are given away unconsciously or deliberately by women? Why do testosterone-fueled-guys fall for a woman’s displays?

As mentioned earlier, the secret is deeply hidden inside the physical and psychological features of the fairer sex. Female courtship signals are a mixture of clues of availability, fertility (or vigour), and compatibility. Another spectrum of nonverbal and biological signal is used by a woman to try to turn her male object very “gooey.” It might sound funny and kiddish but women try to provoke protectiveness in men through a range of nonverbal clues.

As famous biologist Dr. Desmond Morris has mentioned, women retain juvenile features throughout their reproductive age, and this is exactly opposite to men. Across the board – women have more juvenile faces, hair, skin, vocal tone (soft and sweet), expressions, body movements, and affect displays. Women themselves might not realize it consciously, but they highlight and accentuate their juvenile physical and psychological features to attract desirable men. After observing a woman giving away such signals, a man unconsciously feels an urge to protect her – the ‘childlike’ lady. Man, on the other hand, engages himself in complementary displays that portray him as a tradition hero, or even virtual father, who tries to protect and save her.

A shoulder shrug evokes a childlike protective response in men through a body size reduction - she makes herself appear worthy of male favours.

A shoulder shrug evokes a childlike protective response in men through a body size reduction – she makes herself appear worthy of male favours.

Men and women are both responsible for protecting, nurturing, and taking care of innocent and helpless children, and this gives them very pleasant feelings and deep satisfaction. It’s because of their physical and psychological characteristics that people fight to protect newborns and adolescents. Babies have very soft and nearly hairless skin, fair complexion (as compared to adults), tender vocal tones with a softer volume, fewer defensive tactics, uncoordinated body movements, and a very energetic and playful disposition. It is these physical characteristics that make us want to care for them, or they illicit it from us anyway.

After attracting the attention of a man and she is assured that he is watching her, she tries to act as playful and curious as an infant. Giggling, talking in a soft and melodious voice, gesticulating in a playful manner, making silly mistakes and movements, jumbling up words, and making enthusiastic and immature facial expressions, is enough to illicit protective favours from men. Coy smiles portend to her harmless intentions, whereas blushing conveys innocence and emotional excitement, and therefore an urge toward intimacy.

By doing herself up with makeup, she tries to come across as youthful – baby-like even. She draws the attention of her man to her most attractive and appealing features; her face, eyes, cheeks, and lips. She will do her hair in such a way that her face looks smaller in size, she tries to imitate a child seeking affiliation and protection, even if she doesn’t need it practically. By wearing cute – colorful outfits and fidgeting with them quite often, she tries to draw the attention of men. This feeling is similar to that elicited by cute babies.

By doing this consciously or deliberately, she is seeking assurance that the man she is attracted to is able to protect her. After giving away clues of availability and compatibility, these ‘juvenile’ signals are intermixed with fertility clues. Even after she creates a firm affiliation, these kinds of signals are still often given out due to her constant need of favour and protection. In today’s modern and economically liberal world, women give away signals that are quite similar to what ancestral women might have thousand and millions of year ago, making them universal.

It has also been found that women with greater amounts of estrogen and progesterone in their bodies tend to display more childlike physical, paralinguistic, and motor (related to movements) features. In contrast, men with higher levels of testosterone are more prone to take physical risks and also tend to feel more attracted to women who look and act more juvenile. The evolutionary purpose behind this kind of attraction is simple – men with greater protective abilities and resourcefulness, should be better able to care for women. In other words, juvenile characteristics are a way to test men for their desire and ability to be good mates beyond simple provision.

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Swami Sachchidanand, Nonverbal Communication Expert and Researcher, India

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