Kyle’s Human Ethology Assignment


I went to the research grounds on a busy Friday night with a friend. For my specimen I chose a Caucasian female with dark brown hair that I could watch over my friends shoulder. She was dressed in a green cocktail dress with high heels and a leather jacket. Her hair was down and her makeup was tastefully done. She was also out with a blonde friend, having a drink at the bar and chatting. This continued for about four minutes, until a male patron walked up and began chatting with the pair. Her reaction was relaxed, she seemed to know the man from some other meeting, possibly school. The subject’s friend began to appear agitated about two minutes in, probably due to the fact that the male was focusing all his attention on the brunette. The male subject was sending signals such as putting his chest out and nodding constantly but the brunette did not seem to be reciprocating. After another minute the male seemed to notice the blonde’s agitation and retreated back to his group of friends. Three more minutes pass with the two women just chatting before two men sit next to them. At this point the brunette seems to have found a possible interest in the male next to her, having looked at him, flashed a brief smile before turning back to her friend and giggling. This is when the subject began to show more noticeable signs of attention getting. She began to play with her hair, laugh a bit louder, and became much more interested in the side of the room that her potential mate was on. At this point the blonde left to go smoke a cigarette. The male took about a minute to either notice or gather up the courage to lean into the subject’s personal space and say something. It must have been well received because the subject laughed coyly and flipped her hair to turn and speak to him. During the next four minutes they begin to people watch through the mirror behind the bar, gently bumping elbows or touching backs of hands to get the attention of the other while they found interesting individuals in the bar to talk about, moving from the talk to touch stage effortlessly. At this point, I stopped the formal research and relaxed my time as the fifteen minutes were up. I did notice that over the next half hour, the blonde returned with a male who she began to loudly flirt with. This interrupted the original subject’s courting though I did notice that the two appeared to exchange numbers before her potential mate left the bar. My position and help from my friend allowed me to patiently observe the subject for the appropriate amount of time with relative ease. Next time I would choose a smaller, quieter bar so that I could possibly hear the conversation.


The scan sampling was done on the same night, at a different bar later on. I saw many distinct groups form but decided to focus on one group of twenty-something males that entered soon after I did. In the first five minutes the group began to seize territory in the bar, taking a booth as soon as it opened and asking a nearby group of females if they were using two stools that were unoccupied. They weren’t, so they were taken back to the group. Then a single male went to procure a round of drinks. After another five minutes a few members of the group, including the original one, had broken off to chat with the earlier female group. There was three men to five females and they seemed to be fairly successful, eliciting copious laughs and flirtatious looks from a few of the females. At the next five minute mark the group of males was not in the bar, due to the bar fight outside that had pretty much emptied the establishment due to how interesting those can be. I would like to complete this survey again at another less rowdy establishment.

Author: Johnna Dominguez

Johnna Dominguez earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cultural Studies and Body Politics from the University of Alabama's New College in May 2011. In her senior thesis, Johnna explored the embodiment of identity through sexuality and sports by observing and studying Alabama football fans and participants in the local burlesque troupe, the Pink Box Burlesque. In her Master's thesis, she is investigating the psychological and physical stresses associated with southern women who get tattoos. After completing her Master's in Anthropology, she hopes to return to school for a Master's in Public Health.

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