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For Man and Beast,
Language of Love Shares Many Traits

(continued from page 1)
By Daniel Goleman
New York Times

  Another submissive display is the shoulder shrug, which, ethologists suggest, derives from an ancient vertebrate reflex, a posture signifying helplessness.    

A posture combining the partly shrugged shoulder and a tilted head-which displays the vulnerability of the neck-is commonly seen when two people who are sexually drawn to each other are having their first conversation, Dr. Givens said.

Being playful and childish is another way potential lovers often communicate harmlessness. "You see the same thing in the gray wolf," said Dr. Givens.
When wolves encounter each other, they usually give a show of dominance, keeping their distance.


But in a sexual encounter, they become playful and frisky, "like puppies," said Dr. Givens, "so they can accept closeness." The next step is a mutual show of submission, all of which paves the way for physical intimacy.

"We still go through the ritual of courtship much like our mammalian ancestors," said Dr. Givens. "These same gestures are subcortical, regulated by the more primitive part of our brain. They have nothing to do with the intellect, with our great neocortex."

The nonverbal repertoire for flirting is "part of a natural sequence for courtship worldwide," said Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University in Brunswick, N.J., and author of "The Anatomy of Love" (Fawcett, 1993). "Mothers don't teach this to their daughters."

...courtship is less about romance... and more about flirting>

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Flirting and non-verbal cues, language and our animal instincts!