People flirt for six different reasons

People flirt for six different reasons

In a 2004 review of literature on temptation, a professor from Northern Illinois University David Dryden Henningsen identified six different motivations for the behavior:

• Sex: try to get into bed
• Fun: treat it like sports
• Exploring: trying to see what it’s like to be in a relationship
• Relational: trying to improve the intimacy of a relationship
• Esteem: increase self-esteem
• Instrumental: try to get something from someone else

In the study, Henningsen asked 101 female students and 99 male students to write hypothetical flirty conversations between a man and a woman, then identify motivation for the things they said.

That behavior is broken along gender norms: Men are significantly more likely to have sexual motivation, while women tend to have relational ones.