Participant Observation of Male Behavior Within The Modern Dating Scene -or- The Wingman’s Lament By Joshua S. Seiler
The Questions At Hand What behavioral changes take place when the environment is subject to change? I had noticed that my friends and I, when going out, would change our habits depending on where we were (drink orders, who we would talk to, etc.). Since my home is rather large (there are 5 of us under one roof) I thought that this would constitute a small but manageable group to conduct a participant observation. Within this group I would observe what behavioral changes took place when we switched locations. By recording these changes I would be able to better assess the behavioral patterns of the male in regards to social habits. This is important because with this research one would be able to better know their surroundings which, in the dating world, can be the most helpful of Dindings.
The Hypothesis “When presented with change, the modern male will adapt or be ostracized from the group. Going against the grain, in regards to social outings, will be viewed by potential mates as a weakness when in consideration for courtship.”
Relevant Related Research“Genderlect Styles” by Deborah I thought this essay would help Tannen my hypothesis by suggesting This essay by Tannen re,lects on that there is already a “cross‐ the communicative differences cultural” divide between men between men and women and and women. When presented how it can be described as with change, genderlect “crosscultural communication”. environments, and the She assess that men use a “report” style of communication opportunity of courtship, the whereas women use a more modern male should, if I am “rapport” style. Simple put, men correct, adapt or be subject to see interaction as a way to gain criticism or worse, be ostracized status; view it as competition. from his group entirely. And, women see interaction as a way to build connections.
More Relevant Works “The Dating Jungle: Man as Hunter While this article is not from a Male Behavior in the Dating major publication and instead World” by Ronnie Ann Rand, The from a blog, it still helps support Ideal Match blog the report vs. rapport idea, and The blog article uses will in turn also support my comparisons from the animal hypothesis which states that kingdom in regards to the males will have to adapt to modern dating scene and changes within their further the ideas that men and environments in regards to women have a cross‐cultural social outings. between them.
The Subjects and Variables My friends are the supportive types and when I enlisted their services they were more than happy to help. They were helpful in this research by answering any and all questions I had, and answered in length and honesty. I will list the men and the places researched, leaving out the names for privacy’s sake.
Male A and Location A Male A is the youngest of Location A is the most the 5, and by far the most visited of the 5 places verbose. He is 23, plays within the experiment. It is bass guitar and works in a bar where this particular higher‐end fashion retail. group feels most He speaks what is on his comfortable, and it was felt mind, most of the time to be a logical choice to without thought to where start. This group is known he is. A very fast talker, he by most of the staff and is conDident in his have developed a good surroundings. rapport with all of them.
Male B and Location B Male B is the second to Location B is a place youngest at 24, and is the located inside a hotel. The most “variant” in how he clientele are typically of an behaves. Often he will be older age group and the seen as abrasive, but will menus of both the food never stray too far off base. and drinks are carefully He plays guitar, and also selected and high priced. works in fashion retail. The décor has a lot of Could be almost as leather and darkly talkative as subject A, polished wood. especially when together.
Male C and Location C Male C is 27 years old and Location C is a cash only the most reserved. He bar where the group is not works for Apple, Inc. and familiar with the staff in when going out in the past any way. There is no food has always been well served and I believe that received by the opposite the jukebox is mainly used sex. His quiet nature for proDiling purposes. It is makes him the variable divided into the main that will most likely result lounge area, and the dart in smallest amount of board room in the back. change There are no doors in the bathrooms.
Male D and Location D Male D is also 27 years old Location D is the largest and works for a high end and the most commercial denim company. He is the of all the locations. It is a older brother of Male B sports bar with several and their relationship I events throughout the thought for the most week and for the most part interesting variable within has a large number of the experiment. He is also patrons every night. They in a monogamous have a large menu for both relationship of two years. food and drinks and many televisions throughout the restaurant area.
Expectations and Concerns I expect that this experiment shall go smoothly. My friends, my group, are all varied in their character traits and how they handle social situations. I believe that these variances will better demonstrate my hypothesis in the Dield and yield more data. My concerns are few but they are concerns nevertheless. I am concerned about the two brothers and that their relationship may hinder the real results of the experiment. I am concerned that having known these men for some time, my biases may come into play when taking notes about their behavior. And, I am concerned that if we don’t carefully monitor ourselves, or drink with irresponsibility that it will destroy the results of the experiment entirely.
Notes at Location A‐ Upon arriving at the bar it is clear that this is a busy night. The door man remembers us, we pass through a small line and immediately head to the bar where the manager is bartending. ‐ The quietest of the group decides to leave for a moment to use the restroom. ‐ After drinks are ordered everyone, including myself, turn our backs to the bar top and start looking around. This catches me off guard as the reason for going out was to facilitate this experiment. ‐ There is a good amount of inconspicuous gesturing going on by my group to other groups of people around. Comments about ways people are dressed, and other judgments are made. ‐ Maybe it was the comfort level of being at a bar they frequent quite a bit, but a lot of the behavior I noticed almost could be described as “catty”. ‐ The youngest of the group was the only one to make an effort to venture outside conversation within group. He spoke with a blonde girl, and developed a rapport enough to introduce her to the rest of us. ‐ We stayed for a little under an hour and a half.
Notes at Location B‐ This location required the group to leave the comfort of their normal surroundings and take a taxi in order to get their. I was made aware of several times how good of friends I had that they were doing this. ‐ As we arrive at the hotel bar, I see two large gentlemen in suits who need IDs and a form of back up. ‐ We do not know anyone this time, and the quieter roommate decides to not go to the restroom right away. After being asked about it, he said he wanted to stick around and see what happened. ‐ The other groups within the bar are all very well dressed, and seem of a slightly older age bracket. Everyone in my group orders nicer drinks like manhattans or an old fashioned. ‐ The same turning the back to the bar move is used, and I ask everyone why we did this. I am told by all that it is in order to stand out, or “peacock”. ‐ Being slightly under dressed, the group is hesitant to talk to anyone. I ask if anyone will, and all respond negatively. We stay for about 45 minutes.
Notes at Location C‐ Getting back into a cab seems off putting to all, so we walk part of the way. ‐ The more “abrasive” male of the group starts doing something he calls “hey girl‐ing”. The responses he receives all seem unthreatened, but also uninterested. ‐ The male of the group who is in the committed relationship decides it is time to check‐in with his girlfriend and hangs back to make a phone call. ‐ We all arrive at location C shortly thereafter, and are greeted this time by a door man of no more than 21 in a hooded sweatshirt and smoking a cigarette. ‐ The location is fairly crowded, but the very talkative male has seen some people he knows sitting down, so we are all able to crowd around a table near the back. ‐ The group is now much larger, and no longer all male. ‐ After introductions are made, the quieter male leaves to put money in the jukebox. ‐ Noticing that he has left the group again upon arriving, I am assuming there must be some sort of anxiety about crowds.
Notes at Location C (con’t)‐ I ask him how he feels about crowds, and his response is very passive saying that he had never really thought about it. ‐ The larger group, now of mixed gender, has all began talking. People are mostly talking to the person immediately next to him or her. The original group is now divided. Each member buys separate bottled beers. ‐ The “abrasive” male begins talking to a brunette woman. He keeps his arms crossed and in front of him. His head is slightly downward while he tries to listen to her. When he laughs he seems almost conscious about not showing his teeth. ‐ The male in the relationship joins the other talking to the brunette woman. Since they are brothers, questions about their relationship immediately come up. Both start to gesture more with their hands. ‐ The talkative male is speaking with his friend he saw when we Dirst arrived. They are talking about music, and work. The talkative male has his legs crossed almost effeminately and touches his hair a lot. ‐ After being asked about his behavior, it is conDided that he believes he is going bald and has been anxious about this for a number of weeks. ‐ We stay for about 2 and a half hours.
Notes at Location D‐ Location D is within walking distance of the last place. The quieter male smokes a cigarette, and makes a phone call while the rest of us talk about the group we had just left. ‐ Jokes are made about the male talking to the brunette. They are about him being in love, and how the rest of the group can’t wait for the wedding. He seems good natured about it. The majority of the jokes are made by his brother. ‐ As we reach location D, a man at the door wearing a polo shirt scans our IDs. Loud music is playing and each TV has a different sport on it. This is by far the most crowded location. ‐ The quieter male, as thought he would, excuses himself to the restroom, and the rest of us walk up to the bar. There are stools around us and available, but we choose to stand. ‐ A trivia contest is going on and the talkative male is shouting out deliberately wrong answers. ‐ A group of four women playing trivia hear him, and after realizing this he approaches them and offers help with their answers.
Notes at Location D (con’t)‐ The four women were at a close enough vicinity to where we were all able to contribute to their trivia team questions. ‐ The more abrasive male makes a joke about the talkative one and immediately apologizes. ‐ After being asked about why he apologized, he said he didn’t really know and maybe it was because women were around. ‐ Two of the four women seemed to have an interest in the male in a relationship and he seemed to reciprocate their interest using body language. ‐ After being asked, he said that he had not done anything wrong yet, and seemed almost as if I was being accusatory. ‐ We stayed for about 2 hours and the group of four women eventually left. ‐ Immediately after their departure, jokes and comments were made about the male the two women seemed most interested in.
Conclusions and Summary In conclusion, I found that the results were somewhat inconclusive. I wanted to see more signiDicant behavioral changes, but saw only minor ones at best. What became most obvious right away were more rituals than behaviors. First, there was the turning away from the bar after we received our drinks. Much like a pack of animals scanning for prey, it seemed like a very base instinct when I was able to stand back and take a look at myself. Secondly, there was the quieter male’s trips to the restroom whenever we arrived at a new location. He seemed anxious, and almost needed to ease into new situations. This was only different at the hotel bar where we all seemed under dressed and almost out of place. I can only assume that being so entirely out of his element froze his defense mechanism of leaving crowded situations. It is also interesting to notice the change in drink order when the group found themselves at a nicer establishment. Instead of the usual bottled beer, a manhattan or nicer cocktail was ordered. Finally, the last behavioral note to mention would be when the group encountered another group.
Conclusions and Summary (con’t) Being in a larger group, and all being newly acquainted, seemed to give the group a new feeling of security within the new location. This newfound security, for lack of a better term, came with it, a new sense of bravery as well. This is noticeable when the more abrasive of males chose to strike up conversation with a brunette woman inside the bar. Another example of how a growth in numbers may effect behavior or the very least, the bravery of the group, is seen when the male in the relationship reciprocated the Dlirtatious behavior of the two women in location D. The results show that environment does have somewhat of an effect of the behavioral changes of men, especially when the crowd is large and mixed gendered. Luckily, everyone was relatively well behaved and was able to maintain a level of responsibility. My expectations were a little let down so far as the data is concerned, but overall I think the experiment was a success. Of course, more experiments would need to take place.
Works Cited‐GrifDin, E. (2009). Communication: A First Look at Communication Theory. Chapter 33: Genderlect Styles. Tannen, Deborah. (pp. 429440) ‐Rand, Ronnie. (2011). The Ideal Match: Dating Tips for Women in San Diego. http://theidealmatch.org/2011/01/thedatingjungleman ashuntermalebehaviorinthedatingworldandits origins/ ‐Berger, Arthur Asa. (2011). Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications.