chapter  5
26 Pages

Sociosexuality and Relationship Initiation: An Ethological Perspective of Nonverbal Behavior

Over a century ago, Charles Darwin (1872) observed that certain expressions tend to be elicited by specific kinds of events and social stimuli in different species. Although Darwin's primary claim to fame lies in his theory of evolution, his ground-breaking research on the expression of emotions in humans and animals suggested that nonverbal behavior may play a major role in structuring and regulating certain types of social interaction. Indeed, Darwin conjectured that some nonverbal expressions may have evolved so that individuals could more accurately express and decipher reactions and intentions in social encounters, thereby avoiding potentially debilitating and dangerous physical confrontations.