Introduction Courtship behavior can be divided into two phases: the attraction stage and the selection stage. Both stages have been well documented in a wide variety of species (Burton 1953, Bastock 1967, Crook 1972). Only recently, however, have ethologists begun to describe courtship behavior in humans (Birdwhistell 1970, Morris 1971, Kendon 1975, Lockard and Adams 1980). But because many observational studies have focused on courting couples, knowledge regarding human courtship is biased toward the later stages of a heterosexual relationship. Interview and questionnaire data (Baber 1939, Coombs and Kenkel 1966, Tavris 1977) also present information about selection rather than attraction. While some information about attraction is available from social psychologists, much of the relevant data result from experimentally manipulated meetings between undergraduates. In this fashion, attraction has been ascribed to a multitude of factors, including similarity in attitudes (Byrne 1971), reciprocity (Altman and Taylor 1973, Huesmann and Levinger 1976), and physical attractiveness (Walster et al. 1966). But there is a lack of data regarding attraction which is compiled primarily through naturalistic observation of early encounters in the courtship sequence, despite the fact that the initial stage of attraction appears to be uniquely suited to observational techniques. Field studies
Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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