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When leg spreading is overt, it can be a turn-off - especially in the workplace.

When leg spreading is overt, it can be a turn-off – especially in the workplace.

Another dominant gesture, where we put our manly prowess on display, women exempted, is the crotch display. The legs can be spread while sitting or standing and depending on the degree of separation and context, can mean different things. For example, legs spread at shoulder width while standing is a dominant and acceptable display. It is seen as normal and is encouraged because it comes across as confident rather than offensive. Having the legs spread wide open while seated is another story altogether. If it happens while directly facing others, it is perceived as arrogant.

Seated leg spreading is especially potent to female coworkers in an office setting, since they aren’t able to imitate the behaviour and retain any class. As a rebuke, women will taking on defensive postures such as arms crossed and legs crossed; this tells us that they are offended by the posture and see the body language as chauvinistic. Men can sometimes use this posture effectively to attract the attention of women, but only in so far as they appreciate the caveman approach. Therefore, the tactic can go both ways, but a small amount of leg spreading can be used to convey a positive middle ground. Having the legs tightly pressed together can sometimes appear even worse, since it conveys submissiveness or being too uptight.