From the mouths of online feminists to a New York City subway campaign, manspreading has become one of the most annoying acts performed in public.
However, according to a new study by the University of California, manspreading could play a significant role in successful dating. As men try to impress their prospective partners, the new research suggests that stretching out and appearing larger could signal dominance and an alpha-male allure.
Study author Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk, a research fellow at Berkeley, found that knees pushed apart, arms spread wide and puffed-out chests made a better impression in speed online dating. The participants who presented a somewhat large appearance of themselves got more matches than those reserved.
Featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the report documents Vacharkulksemsuk’s attempts to determine how much body language influences dating success.
Her team initially focused on a video footage from a speed-dating event to help them identify which postures tended to result in a request for a follow-up date.
Then, after concluding that “expansive” body language was more successful than the reserved one, Vacharkulksemsuk’s study moved to part two. This involved creating two profiles on a Tinder-style dating app for each of three men and three women.
On one of these profiles, the participants’ pictures would show them arms or legs crossed and hunched over. On the other, they were featured in more ‘open’ poses, either leaning back or standing with arms outstretched.
As predicted, the participants’ profiles that showed them in broad poses garnered more interest and matches than those in “contractive” positions. The experiment was monitored over the course of two weekends.
This study and its results might seem shallow, but Vacharkulksemsuk explains that people’s
“chances of making a successful initial romantic connection” in terms of online dating depend on a photograph or brief interaction.
Over the past year, manspreading has become both a trending topic and a hot debate; the act of keeping one’s legs wide open when on public transport has divided public opinion.
While some blogs and Twitter accounts are dedicated to shaming men who practice manspreading, Vacharkulksemsuk’s study seems to suggest that these men might have more romantic success.
Could it be that women don’t hate ‘the spread’ as much as they may think? The researcher believes that these open-type postures are more attractive to females because they link to dominance, success and openness.
But regardless of the reason, it might seem that bigger is indeed better. Do you agree, or do you still find manspreading annoying and space consuming?
Image Source: Boston Magazine