Kinesics and Body Postures
Kinesics between Males and Females In communication, it is important to consider not only the verbal context of the interaction between two people or among a group. It is very important that non-verbal forms of communication be taken into account when talking to someone since these non-verbal cues may become barriers to effective communication. Potential physical barriers to communication include kinesics. Kinesics is a general term used to define human movements, gestures and posture. Kinesics may substitute, accompany or modify language.
Kinesics may be directive, informative or empathic in nature. One of the most used components in kinesics is body posture. There are many different types of postures, but there are four basic kinds: approach, withdrawal, expansion, and contraction (Beebe, Beebe & Ivy, 2010, p. 95). Posture is a substantial marker of feminine and masculine behavior. Different males and females go through these four basic kinds of postures everyday of their lives. In this essay I’ll discuss the different kinds of postures in relation to males and females.
Male postures can be slightly different than those of females. Despite universally high perceptions of beauty in both sexes, males tend to place significantly higher value on physical appearance in a partner than women (Beebe, Beebe & Ivy, 2010, p. 95). When observing males, one usually tends to observe how that particular person is representing himself. By this I mean what posture he uses when talking to someone. When someone goes to a public place like a cafeteria, library, restaurants etc, different male body postures can be observed.
Some examples are leaning back in a chair with the arms clasped behind the head and the elbows out signaling a state of relaxation or a territorial sign saying “I own this place” and straddling a backwards facing chair which allows the man to dominate and control the situation. In stressful situations some men will hold both hands and rub them together. A major thing one may notice when one studies the male body language is that the body language tends to be more dominant. This allows the man to be in full control and observe the situation from a distance.
Once control is established, he will stand much closer to the other person than a woman would. I once went to a party in Tennessee where a friend of mine got into a fight with a particular person. Before he got into a fight, he stared at the man for a long time. My friend’s posture went from that of being normal to where his head and shoulders started to rise in excitement for a fight because he was angry. All this happened because the other man kept calling my friend’s name that he did not want to hear. After the fight was over his posture went back to normal. I also observed the other man.
I saw his shoulders slump and head bow in all the embarrassment. These are just some observations I made at a local restaurant and at a party. One should keep in mind that not all the males are the same. Different males have different personalities and different postures. Female postures can be hard to recognize. Femininity can be described with traits such as being nurturing, soft, intuitive, empathetic, and accepting (Beebe, Beebe & Ivy, 2010, p. 95). A female’s body posture and facial expressions go hand in hand. Facial expressions and posture reveal our emotions.
Posture is greatly affected by self-esteem and emotional state. For instance, when one is feeling upbeat and good about themselves, they are likely to carry themselves more upright and possibly exhibit a “spring in ones step”. It is true the other way around where posture may be slumped because of a hard day at work (Beebe, Beebe & Ivy, 2010, p. 95). Females have many more ways of attracting attention to themselves than male and they are able to express availability and interest in more ways than males. For example, when a female wants to be more appealing, she will stand taller with the chest out and the stomach in.
Another example is when a female’s legs are crossed tightly for long time; it represents defensiveness and a closed body language. A face tends to express which kind of emotion someone is feeling, while one’s body reveals the intensity of how much of the emotion one is feeling (Beebe, Beebe & Ivy, 2010, p. 95). For example, a woman’s thoughts can be read through her lips. For example, girls at this college restaurant like to hangout in groups and through this one can see various facial gestures and postures like their stomachs are held in with their heads held high, and they keep fixing their hair when a guy walks by.
These are just some examples of female postures. In conclusion, we can see that every individual either males or females is different in his or her own way. Everyone has a unique personality that is better suited to them and so are the postures and facial expressions. There are many types of postures but the four most basic forms are easily distinguishable and everyone goes through them at least once a day.
Works Cited Steven Beebe, S. B. (1950). communication: principles for a lifetime. boston: lifland bookmakers.