Yesterday I told my best friend that I was queer. She looked at me and said “is this supposed to surprise me? you talk about how gorgeous girls are and how you would ‘totally be lesbian with them’ reguarly.” I giggled, but just let her keep talking. She continued by asking me questions about my sexuality. I told her it was fluid and something that I believed would change throughout my life. I said I was excited by the idea of exploring my sexuality and wasn’t going to try and define it. She simply said “that’s awesome, I wish I was confident enough to be who I wanted to be without caring about other’s opinions.” I then told a coworker the same thing, and she almost fell out of her chair! She was very confused and asked me repeatedly what I meant. I told her I was a 2 on the Kinsey scale (predominately heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual – which is the truth). After I said this, she slid her chair back several inches. She definitely judged me for my sexual orientation. It was an interesting experience. I can only imagine the hostility and confusion people feel when they ‘come out of the closet’. This barely gave me a glimpse into their struggle. I am impressed with all of those who are strong enough to do that.
Students were tasked with employing two ethology techniques discussed in class (focal sampling and scan sampling) on people trying to hook up. The choice of research setting was up to the discretion of the investigator, some examples include bars, restaurants, coffee shops, the Quad, The Ferguson Center, the Rec, etc.
For those who may not be familiar with focal and scan sampling, these are two of the tools ethologists and anthropologists use to collect data. The main distinction between ethology and anthropology is the former is interested in strict observation from the outside (one might call this an etic approach), and the latter often engages in what’s known as participant observation (an emic approach).
Focal sampling focuses on a fixed individual or point in space and all of the observations taking place within a pre-determined time frame (15-30 minutes for the purposes of this assignment) are recorded. Scan sampling scans the environment at predetermined intervals and all of the observations are recorded.
Each sampling technique has its pros and cons, it was up to the student to decide which was most practical.
Below are two submissions by students in the Spring 2014 ANT 208 Anthropology of Sex class.
From Hannah Tytus:
I arrived on fraternity row at 10:30, the perfect hour of twilight where uncomfortably sober meets
riotously drunk. Entering a frat house, I see two sectioned areas for social interaction: the first is
a noisy band room with musicians playing on stage, and the second was an open courtyard
where people could mingle. The entire place smelled like warm nati light and camel cigarettes.
Being no novice to the srat scene, I breathed through my mouth and started bravely into the
I brought along an assistant, Ashley, who is very good at attracting guys without saying anything
of the slightest importance. I figured she might be a good backup if our “guy” ran out of women
to interact with.
Now, Lets get started.
Since the party had between two or three hundred people present, I decided to scan the scene in
groups by room. I divided the place into three areas: band room, courtyard, and upstairs. The
courtyard, the most open atmosphere, was the least populated at the beginning of the night.
While people were still sober and socially awkward, they made a beeline for the blaring music in
the band room. Meanwhile, in the courtyard, the atmosphere was quieterbut that doesn’t mean
it was calmer. Everyone was on edge: boys substituted smoking for feeling uncomfortable, and
girls grouped together and pretended to be talking about something important (for reference,
when we do that we’re only ever actually talking about A) finding liquor, B) the hot guy in the
corner who we want to come over to us, or C) finding more liquor.) But the most important social
crutch of all? The cell phone. Almost everyone was texting at the beginning of the evening,
signalling their discomfort. As the scans and beers progressed, the texting decreased.
Nonetheless, this was notably more of a “transitional area” where people could mingle or get the
number of the guy/girl they had been dancing with 5 minutes ago.
In the dancing room, it was smoky, loud, and dense the whole time. While the courtyard had
been awkward and tense, in this room every interaction was sexualized. Bodies were extremely
close to each other, where they had been multiple feet apart outside. Because of the music, it
made conversations impossible, so people could only rely on their bodies and nonverbal
communication in order to court. And using solely body language at the beginning of courtship,
instead of making smalltalk, was what was working for these fellows that night.
My final destination was the upstairs, and I’ll let you know right off the bat that there are only two
types of people who hang around upstairs: There are those who are close friends of the hosts,
and there are those who are currently in the bedroom sleeping with the host. Essentially, its
where the courting victors of the night go to claim their ladyprize.
For the focal study, I’ve selected is the kingpin of all things “frat daddyesque”. He is clad in the
traditional garb of his people; he sports a notsodiscrete Ralph Lauren baseball hat, a southern
tides Tshirt, and crocs’ abhorrent cousin: the Chaco sandal. Now our guy here, “Rick” is quite
the chatterbox. He’s surrounded by four females and two males, who are presumably acting as
his wingmen. I learned a little bit about ol’ Rick when two girls over my shoulder mentioned that
not only was he not in his own frat house, but that he was also known to be quite a player. He
stirred up even more gossip when the girls learned that although he was wearing an Old Row
shirt, he was definitely New Row. Things weren’t looking good for our boy Ricky.
But then, hallelujah! A beer bong has arrived on scene! I see light fill Rick’s eyes as he puts his
arm around one of the girls, and has his buddy pour two natis down the funnel. Rick, foaming at
the mouth, looks to the girl to see if she approves of his display of manhood, andtragicallyshe
is unimpressed. Hurt by this rejection, Rick’s shoulders slump ever so slightly, and he shifts his
body towards the other males in the circle. He chuckles and makes broad movements, letting
his arms fill the silent gap between him and the ladies. Although the group continues to chat,
Rick has retreated further towards his bros for support, and he touches his face once or twice in
After a short rally of spirits, a change comes over Ricky. He puffs out his chest, and puts his
arms around the two boys on either side of him, hanging on them in a true sign of brotherhood,
thus signalling to the females that he is important and wellconnected. He makes another
flirtatious attempt, this time at another girl in the circle who is maybe more easily intrigued, but
before she can respond to his advances, a fight breaks out behind her, and a boy is thrown onto
the ground. Things are too heated up! There’s pepper spray everywhere! Someone has a black
eye! Call for help! Make haste!
And so it was, that poor Ricky did not get laid that night.
I sometimes saw the five stages, but it depended highly on the room or environment that the
couple was in. The most chronological succession of the stages takes place in the courtyard,
where people can court in the traditional sense. But in rooms like the band room, the stages
went all out the window. In the band room, it was only 1get attention (aka tap or grab a partner)
and 2touch (aka, rubbing your pelvices together vigorously in public.) The only problems I had in
observations was upstairs, because I can’t observe couples that have already gotten to stage
five and are having sex in the bedroom. If I did this assignment again, I would want to compare
heterosexual courtship rituals and homosexual courtship rituals, and see how they differ.
Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough time for that much experimentation.
From Lucas Lowry:
Entered a UA Spectrum hosted event at approximately 7:15 PM in the private room at Glory Bound downtown on Friday night. The event was not extensively lit as in other rooms in the establishment, but neither was it dark and smoky. Present at the event were primarily members of the LGBT community, many of them seemed to have friend groups present and ventured out with intent to flirt.
Subject was an African American male about 5’ 11” wearing tight fitting Express brand jeans and t-shirt, apparently appealing to name brand recognition. Subject seemed to employ a strategy known among Greek organizations as “mingle-mingle-base” wherein the subject seemed to periodically return to a group the subject seemed to feel more at home after meeting knew people than the others in attendance. When the subject introduced himself to a new group attention was given primarily to males in conversation, and didn’t seem to give preference to African American or Caucasian males when selecting conversation partners during the observational period. Towards the end of the observation, there was a noted lingering of the subject on one group in particular. Following eye movements the deduction could be made that he was attempting recognition, but recognition had not been established by the end of observation.
Other presumed members of the LGBT community seemed to display some sense of a home pack in a less organized manner than the focal point subject. Groups ranged in size from 2-6 people, and exhibited few if any noticeable tendencies in female/male ratios. Various stages of the Fischer outline were observed with decreasing frequency the further up the sequence of stages. One gay couple exhibited stage five body mimicry tendencies, but was the only such example. Most people didn’t seem to advance much further past recognition without a sense of who the target of their efforts was beforehand. The phrase “eating with your eyes” came to mind, as groups occasionally convened and popped their heads up like prairie-dogs to look in the
direction of the person who was assumedly the point of discussion. Assumedly after assessing the statement, they would reconvene with input for they who brought up the person in question.
This past weekend I went to Charleston, SC for a few days and stayed with some of my friends. I finally had the chance to go out to a bar called Midtown, located in the middle of downtown Charleston. For the first part of the assignment, observing a single person, I decided to go with a late-30s looking man. It would’ve been pretty hard to tell his age if he didn’t have normal aging wrinkles. This guy could only be described as looking like a classic college “bro”…15 years after he finished college. He had on a pale blue polo that was obnoxiously tight and light wash jeans. Nothing he was wearing should have been allowed. His general attitude suggested he thought he was the biggest deal in that room. He then proceeded to knock back drinks and hit on every single female that came with a bachelorette party. Now, this took him a little over a half hour to work his way through that whole group. During his rejection fest, he took breaks hitting on random girls walking by, including a friend I went with. When she came back from the table she said, and I quote “his pickup lines are twice as old as anyone in here and reek of desperation”.
Next, I went out to a different bar to check out a group of people. I just went with one other person this time. We settled on Gene’s Haufbrau. It was much less crazy and filled with groups of people. The group I kept going back to, I didn’t really understand what I was seeing. Now, I’m thinking maybe a polyamorous relationship (or possibly just really, really drunk people in for a fight in the morning). The start of my observations, there were two men and three women. There wasn’t anything significant in their attire. The men were dressed casually in dark jeans and subtle v-neck sweaters. The women were in jeans and casual tops. They weren’t loud or obnoxious like many of the other groups of people. It just seemed like friendly chatter after work. Two of the people seemed very cozy, like they were possibly in a relationship. Nothing happened in my first five minutes, so I’d almost moved to another group. Then I noticed the cozy couple, the man had his arm around one woman but he was holding hands with someone else. He didn’t seem to be talking to woman number two, but surely there was something going on there. Woman number one never noticed, or if she did, she wasn’t bothered by it/didn’t want to make a scene. After about 30 minutes, a few more people showed up and woman number one left with the man she wasn’t sitting with. They left holding hands. The man she was originally with moved on to woman number two and while he was holding her, he was completely ignoring her and paying all his attention to a new female that had just walked in wearing a very revealing black dress and bright pink heels. It seemed like everyone in this group was attached to one another. After another 10 minutes or so, they began to pair off and leave in twos. The same man ended up leaving with yet another woman. It was a clusterfuck to watch unfold.
Test 1: Young man in the red shirt
Subject is in class and is attentive. Takes notes and seems to be listening to what the teacher is saying. He is wearing a hat, which he takes off to scratch his head/fix his hair frequently. It is almost like a tick. He sniffles. This could mean he is sick or maybe getting over a sickness. His bouncing knee tells me he is restless. My best guess to explain his restlessness is that he cannot wait for this class to end. It is pretty early, so I don’t blame him. He yawns and takes a big sip of black coffee which seems to wake him up enough to take another 2 lines of notes.
Test 2: Group of people on the Blue Bus, total of 6 participants
Everyone looks tired like they didn’t get enough sleep the night before. All but one person is on their cell phone scrolling through facebook or texting. Nobody I text would be awake this early. There is no verbal conversation between group members. A female participant mouths the words to the song she is listening to through her earbuds. First stop, no participants exit, but some new people get on. One of the new passengers (female) takes the only available seat next to a male participant. Male smiles at female and she returns the gesture, but quickly begins to text/play on her phone. Male seems unwilling to start a conversation. Other participants are keeping to themselves. One female is staring out the window listening to her headphones. Another female participant is reading that day’s issue of the Crimson White. Two Male participants are on their cell phones. Last two participants are hugging their backpacks and look at their phones frequently. Perhaps they are looking at the time to see if they will make it to class without being tardy. Second stop, one female participant exits. One male participant gives his seat to a female who just boarded the bus. They exchange smiles, a “thank you so much,” and a “you’re welcome.” There was no further conversation.
2/22/13; arrival at the Jupiter initiated at 10:50pm. Mimosa, a hiphop/dubstepdj is putting on a show tonight. The environment is seemingly dark except for the pulsing light show radiating from the dj’s throne. It’s smoky and I can already see the fog above the crowd in front of the stage. This setting is definitely a place where both guys and gals are looking for someone to bed down with if they haven’t a partner already. There are hipsters, frat guys in t-shirts, girls deceptively portraying a hipster aura in hopes of catching a real hipster guy and vice versa. There are sexy ladies prowling and my focal study would lack its true potential if a hands-on approach wasn’t explored in this setting, therefore I decided to head to the dance floor.
My focal sampling individual is very physically attractive. I’ve danced with her before; however it was some time ago at another dance party. I remember her name, she doesn’t remember mine, however when I call her name and ask her to dance she seems interested despite her lack of memory. She has blonde curls, a tanned even skin tone that doesn’t resemble artificial creation from tanning bed exposure but more so good genetics. She is about 5’6”. I’m not great with evaluating body weight, but she’s got a little meat on her in a good way. She is wearing a soft silk top with a little of her hips and abdomen showing. She has light teal pants on with some slippers that wrap around her feet. I’d really give it to this one, but I would only be looking for a one night stand if not a future occasional sex partner. I’m going for a long shot, but I think she wouldn’t mind dancing once again if I showed her enough interest and my funky grooves. I creep near but not too close to her and just dance for a few minutes. I’m probably about 6ft.from her at first, to the left and rear of the direction she is facing which is towards the stage. She is dancing, bumpin’ to the beats. It seems like she has two acquaintances near, but they don’t seem like best girlfriends. She’s drinking a red mixed drink. I have a friend near as well. He is located directly behind her and he expresses interest as well. I’m more confident and better looking than he so I swoop in just like anyone else would. I call her name, “Sam…” no answer, ” Sam!”, she looks at me and I can tell than she doesn’t know my name and doesn’t necessarily recognize my face. I tell her that we’ve danced before and I ask her if she is doing well and if she would like to dance again. She’s receptive and a starts dancing. She gets in front of me and I grab the rear. I try and move to the beats and just be close to her, some individuals would say I was “up on dat ass”. We’ve made a little eye contact, but nothing that was intense enough to make me think there was some real attraction between us. I think she’s sexy (8 or 9 out of 10) and I’m looking fine myself. I have my haired pulled back, I’m wearing a blue and red plaid long sleeve shirt, grey pants, nike dunks, and a fox tail tied to my belt right above my buttocks. She isn’t looking around much, but I still am. She’s smiling and her friends showed intrigued expressions and smiled towards her when they saw me behind her. She’s moving her hips around and I’m right there with them. I get close to her neck sometimes, her hair smells like shampoo of some sort. She’s got soft skin on her hips and back. She lets me touch her a little bit, I’m not opposed, but I don’t get close to her breasts or vagina. She just kind of sways and jumps to the beats and I do the same. My friend is gone now, poor fellow. I ask her what she’s drinking, she just hands it to me. I smell the cup then take a sip. This girl has some glitter on her, but it doesn’t look like a whole lot (little did I know I would be covered in glitter afterwards). In between one of the later songs, she abruptly turns to the right and walks towards the back. By this point her acquaintances have been gone. I see her once more on the way out of the door. I say” cya Sam” and she smiles and waves in return.I danced with her for about 45minutes to an hour. Attention getting, recognition, talk, touch, and body synchronization were all observed within 15 minutes.
Three groups: Dancing people, Smokers in the back, people standing and looking around.
First observation The dancing people are doing just that, dancing. Many of them seem to be doing this with friends and not people they have met there. Occasionally, I will see a first time meeting between a guy and girl, resulting in dancing. A drunk guy starts dancing with a group of sorority hipster poser girls and a girl wearing a sports bra with tassels puts her hand in his face and gives this “ nooooo” and pushes him along. A girl begins dancing with me, she starts backing me up into this hand railing, I’m immobilized yet my vantage point is awesome because I’m within and looking onto the dancing group. The smokers in the back are all looking forward past the dancing group. They are kind of lightly dancing and making short conversation with their friends and then returning to lightly dancing and looking past the crowd. The standing people are in the corners of the back of the room towards the entrance. Not a whole lot of talking going on. Just standing and looking. Some don’t look like they are having a good time, they seem plainly dressed.
Second observation. The dancing group is hot and sweaty. It’s super foggy and almost musky overhead. The dancing girl that chose me is getting real slow and into it. She’s giving the vibe that she wants it bad. The group of girls has dispersed, but they remain near each other. The smokers in the back have moved around a little bit,but it looks relatively the same. Still lightly dancing, I don’t see a lot of dancing between the sexes in the smoking group, but it isn’t nonexistent. The people standing looking around in the corner are doing what they do best. Some have left; some have gone into the crowd. It seems like this is kind of an occasional resting spot for dancers. There is a little head bobbing going on.
Third observation. Dancers are now loosing endurance but are still going strong. There is some smoking going on. I smell some herb, but see only cigarettes. Most of the meeting and greeting has happened by now, if you were going to find someone to dance with, it has most likely already happened. People have settled into their rhythms. There is a lot of touching going on. The smokers have dispersed and there are only a few left in the back. They look as though they are having an ok time just chilling and lightly dancing there. The people standing and looking around have dispersed as well and there seem to be fewer in numbers. The individuals still hanging around look lonely.
Location: Black Market Bar & Grill, Birmingham
Day: Saturday 23rd 2013
Time: approximately 6:30 p.m.
When I walked into the bar, mysight diminished somewhat. The lights were dim, not near pitch dark, but enough to blend color shades together. The whole place was relatively small andthe bar table layout formed a reverse “L” while the rest of the room contoured to the same shape. Multi-colored lights hung right above the bar setting, illumining the chairs under it. A couple of T.V sets played either sports related shows or The Big Bang Theory. Under the televisionswere the refrigerators that held all the alcohol. Booths were position along the wall with tables adjacent to them, all going further deeper into the room.I had sat down with my older sister, who accompanied me, at the booth closet to the door. Sitting down Iobserved all the B movie memorable posters and art that lined the walls.Adding to the décor, the table tops had pages from comic books lacquered to it. Metal type music played constantly, emitting most of the sound in the bar on the account only one other group was present at that time. The people who were there before us occupied the back most booth. Two were males and the other two female. Both sets dressed in casual clothing.
Started Focal Sample
Time: 7:17 p.m.
More people had entered the bar, mostly middle aged adult couples, but also a few younger single adults. One man in particular, somewhere in his 20’s, sat alone near the back. He had short shaggy hair and a dark colored shirt. His posture was sluggish: back hunched, head hung low, and an overall sullen sense. Every so often he would sip from his beer and look around. His attention turned occasionally to new people coming in. In a sudden action the gloomy guy tries to get the bar tenders attention. Once the bar tender took notice, itlooked as if he wanted to order something else. The bar tender looks in the frigid containing alcoholand talks back to gloomy guy who reaches in his pocket for what I assume is his wallet. They talk back and forth for a few seconds and then he puts what he had back in his pocket. After looking around for another second he gets up and briskly walks to the front of the bar to my left. He says something towards one of the bar tenders who was busy getting a drink for someone else. I could not tell if he had got an answer because more people had sat at the bar and kept the two bar tenders quite busy. Once done speaking, the gloomy guy walked straight out the door, leaving his beer behind. He did not come back.
End Focal Sample – Assignment ended prematurely due to observed individual leaving
Time: 7:21 p.m.
Total Time Observed: 4 minutes
Started Scan Sample
Time: 7:24 p.m.
During this time the place had begun to get busy. Fiddling with her smart phone,a blonde haired woman in about her 30’s sat alone at the back of the bar table. Three girls in their early 20’s occupied the booth right in front of me and my sister. Two young males looking at the menu sat at the middle positioned table across from the booth with the group of girls. Directly parallel to us and sitting at the tables was a middle aged couple.
Time: 7:29 p.m.
A new guy pulls a seat next to the smart phone lady. Both begin to talk to each other frequently. The middle aged couple next to me talked very little, both retained no apparent livelihood at all. Everyone around the bar continues to talk as more people enter. The place is more crowed.
Time: 7:31 p.m.
I easily spotted an enthusiastic individual who sat at the corner front of the bar table. He had thick curly, dark hair and wore a jacket. Apparently he was either happy at the sports game on the TV. or just jolly from conversation he was having with the bar tender. At one point he pumped both his arms up and down. Smart phone lady had become closer to the new guy who recently acquainted her. In addition, he had his smart phone out while engaging in conversation with her. He would also playfully mess with her. She responded to his actions with smiles and laughter. Another middle aged guy wrapped his arm around a woman of about the same age.
Time: 7:36 p.m.
The enthusiastic guy hive fives the bar tender and talks to a man with a red baseball cap on who sits next to him. A middle aged couple joins the other couple at the table right beside me and everyone there seem to lively up some with the additional company. Smart phone lady continues happy conversation with the same guy.
Time 7:39 p.m.
The right setting to see most “pick-ups” was not optimal during this time. It was still too early as a higher influx of people came when I left. Most who came into Black Market were middle aged couples and young adults groups. There were a few singles that mixed in with rest. Unfortunately my focal individual left before he initiated the first step in the “five-part pickup”. More promising was the smart phone lady and hermale friend. While only observed during the scan sample, those two individuals demonstrated courting signals the most. At the moment the guy first approached the women with the smart phone he gestured towards her as he pulled out a chair. I was able to observe four out of five elements in human ethology assignment.
Step One: Attention getting was achieved by the guy when he approached.
Step Two: Recognition was receivedby the woman. Both made eye contact.
Step Three: Talk was sustained during most of the time.
Step Four: Touching was definitely seen throughout the observation by the guy. (playfully poking and touching)
While I did not stay longer, there was still a potential for the smart phone lady and the guy to have achieved the last step, total body synchrony. Fifteen minutes was enough to observe at least 4 steps and with a greater length of time maybe even step five. Only once did my observer take any notice of me and look in my direction (smart phone lady), but nothing caused her to have any intense suspicion. Better observation skills might be: finding different vantage points, making better notes of what people are wearing, keeping track of observed people in my notes, and concentration on the subtle cues of courtships.
So, on Wednesday night around 9:30, I went to the Alcove on 22nd Avenue. The place looks like a hole in the wall from the outside. Inside it is dark with lots of mirrors and has cool vibes. It’s kind of a hipster place. It didn’t seem too much of the college place to go, although I saw some college age kids (actually saw a guy from one of my classes), but there were older people there as well. I think it’s a local place, and perhaps a well-kept secret from the frat boys. Anyways, my focal point was a man who looked to be in his late twenties. He was wearing a black hat with a black collared shirt; his name was engraved on the shirt so I’m thinking he is a car mechanic or something like that. He was wearing dark jeans. He was standing behind a woman and another man who were both sitting at the bar. He kept laughing and smiling at the woman’s stories. He looked a little younger and better looking than her. He talked really loudly. The other guy wasn’t talking as much, but they appeared to all be friends or know each other. He wouldn’t stop talking loudly and I could hear some of his words slur. He drank out of a mason jar and the drink was dark yellow, so I assumed it was beer. He went to the bathroom at the eight-minute mark. As he came back from the bathroom, I saw him glance at other women, checking them out, on his way back to the bar. He walked past the woman and the man, giving them a nod, and went to the other end of the bar by the door. He put on his jacket and started to talk to an older man and two women. The older man left. He sat down with the women and leaned in to talk to the brunette. He took a long drink of his beer, and then ordered another one. I think he is a regular by the way he talked to the bartender and seemed to know a good number of people in the bar. He kept talking to the woman and her friend. It’s only 10pm though, but maybe he’ll take one of them home.
That concludes my focal point. When I first observed the bar, there were two groups of people sitting in booths, one is a bunch of girls, and another is a mix of boys and girls. They all were laughing and looked to be having fun. The bar had multiple groups around it, most of them just consisting of twos and threes. Behind me, I heard two English men talking and laughing. I liked their accents. The mood was happy. At five minutes, there were a few more people crowded around the bar, ordering drinks. The booths had emptied some, a few of those girl went outside. BREAKING NEWS—I noticed the guy I was observing get up and leave with the brunette girl! Success. For him, I guess. At the ten-minute mark, I saw that the booths have filled up again. Some guys sat down at the girl booths and had brought over drinks. The bar looks the same. The two English guys were still talking, having a good time. Well, by the fifteen-minute mark, my friends and I had decided to move to the other room. Probably shouldn’t have done this, but this room was pretty interesting. There was an Irish band playing. A woman on a flute, a guitarist, violinist, and some other instrument I didn’t recognize. Two women were river dancing. It was entertaining. Apparently, it’s Irish river dancing every third Wednesday at the Alcove. There was an older crowd in here—a group of older men, probably in their fifties, and an old couple, probably in their seventies, who later get up to dance. They were so cute.
That’s about all I got. I think 15 minutes was sufficient time for me to witness the five stages. The man got the brunette’s attention, recognition, talked to her, leaned in close. However, it did take some extra time before I saw them leave together. I was pretty surprised at that. But I have a feeling a lot of people at the Alcove are regulars, and so that might not have been the first time the man and the brunette had met.
Date: Feb. 18, 2013
Environment: Typical Hooters restaurant
Focal Sampling Notes
- Young man wearing grey hoodie and camo hat.
- Drinking bud light platinum
- Watching basketball game on the television on the wall
- Talking to young Hooters girl
- Seemed uninterested and responded to the things he had to say with boredom
- Older men watching athletic, blonde Hooters girl. She did not appear to be his waitress and ignored him whenever he spoke to her.
With the focal sampling, I saw very little. I observed the boy speaking to the girl. He appeared to be interested in her and also disheartened by her lack of interest. She mostly sat there, just shaking her head in boredom whenever he spoke. She also twirled her hair around her fingers like she was anxious. All in all, the sample yielded few results.
The scan sampling was much more productive. The group sat in the back of the restaurant. It included an older man who appeared very interested in a young, athletic looking, blonde Hooters girl who was waitressing at some tables nearby. She was however, not the waitress for the table that the group was sitting at. I noticed that every time that the girl would walk by, the man would attempt to speak to her. Rather than approach his table to see what he wanted, the girl would walk right past him on her way to one of her own tables. She would barely even acknowledge his existence. The man was persistent in his efforts to get the girl to approach his table, but she showed no interest whatsoever during the time that I was observing them. During this time the other men at the table were giggling and talking in lower voices. I was unable to hear what they were saying, but it seemed to me that they were goading him on in his pursuit of the blonde girl. I found this all very interesting because the girl behaved in a much different manner with the people whose waitress she actually was. With them, she was talkative and appeared interested. It seemed to me that the difference in behavior had something to do with the fact that she would actually make money off of her own tables, whereas the man’s money would go to the waitress assigned to his table. The girl was exchanging a show of interest for monetary gain.
Observing from a table while eating.
Environment:It’s a restaurant/bar with dim-moderate lighting, college student atmosphere, slightly busy and noisy; There were many people who seem associated with a fraternity. It is more difficult to distinguish which “type” girls were because most are dressed up (more so than your typical school day).The restaurant had a lively vibe. There are TVs playing sports.
Focal Sample: Female, with four other girls at table near bar. She was drinking. Her table received a beer pitcher. She talks to her friends and she actually seems to be dominating the conversation. In the first five minutes of the sample she gets up from the table two times. The first time was to go to the bathroom. When she came out I observed her pulling down on her dress. The dress was short and black with regular sleeves and a rather low neckline. She also had on heels. She arched her back provocatively when she walked and sat. Once she got back to her table she talks with her friends some more, this time she is glancing around the restaurant more. She is smiling at what her friends are saying. She continuously looks over to the bar. She notices two guys at the bar and hops up for the second time to go talk to them. She seems to only know one of the guys. She greets him, they act like friends. The second guy that she doesn’t seem to know just stared at her while she talked to guy #1. She actually stands for about 6 min talking. She seems to be wearing out her welcome on guy # 1 but guy #2 still looks at her as though intrigued. She seemed to be trying to flirt with the first guy and by doing this she got the attention of the second guy. She returned to the table because her food was there. She stayed there the remaining time. Throughout she exhibited receptive behaviors like staring and playful gestures and even by dominating the conversation at her table.
Trial One: The majority of the people are sitting at tables ordering food and eating. A good amount of tables are also drinking. There is a couple at the bar. The guy is texting while the girl is looking around the room observing and letting herself get distracted by the workers at the bar. The guy #1 from the focal sample appears to have had a girlfriend show up. There is a large party table with many fraternity members and a few girls. This group got noisy at this time. At another table, girls walk by and recognize a girl that is seated and eating. The girl gets up and hugs each friend and all act over-excited. At this time most of the workers seem busy at work or gazing alone behind the bar.
Trial 2: The couple that was seated at the bar left. They didn’t spend much more time there but to eat. The large noisy table gets increasingly louder. It seemed that they were done eating but were going to stay a while and drink and socialize. A lot of tables are doing this currently. A new group of girls dressed in small dresses and heels obviously drunk if you were observing and hugging on some of the boys in the large noisy group. There is a group of guys who appear to be in their mid-twenties have ordered beer bottles at a table and for the most part talk about the sports and watch them on the TVs. They cheer at appropriate times for their teams. They have an attractive waitress and they pay good attention to her when she takes their order and seem like they are polite.
Trial Three: The girl and her group of friends from the focal sample are now standing up to leave. The girl walked over to the guys at the bar she previously spoke to and also greeted guy #1’s girlfriend and said goodbye. Her friends walk out of the restaurant without her. A couple of older men are now seated at a table near the bar drinking beers, they scan the room occasionally. There is a family with a mom, dad, college student, and younger child eating and chatting. Most of the older groups keep to themselves while the college students socialize from table to table. There are several tables with people who are in business casual clothes eating and chatting at tables, perhaps a business party.
Trial Four: The restaurant is getting less busy at this time. Both children from the family mentioned in trial three get up and go find the bathroom. During this time I observed the parents to see if behavior changed. The woman laid her head on her husband’s shoulder for a moment and they shared a quick kiss. The older men mentioned in trial three seeming to be teasing their waitress (also an attractive waitress). They laugh loud at their own jokes that make her slightly flustered. The large noisy group is no longer loud or noisy. It has died down but there are few girls and guys who seem to be planning what to do next.
Analysis: There were examples of attention-getting, recognition, talk, and touchingin the scan andfocal sampling observations. The only full body sync may be observed in the married couple.There was also a lot of gazing observed for example in the focal sample when guy # two stares at the focal sample. And the girl in the couple at the bar who gazed around the room, seemingly bored with her phone-absorbed boyfriend.
-Some attention-getting behavior includes the old men poking fun at the waitress,the focal sample girl saying goodbye to a guy who has a girlfriend to possibly try to get the attention of the second guy, the men cheering for their respective sports teams, the intoxicated girls’ provocative outfits and girls acting over-excited to have run into each other.
-There was recognition between the focal sample girl and the guys, particularly the second guy who looked at her for a long amount of time. There was also recognition between husband and wife who met eyes before kissing. It also appeared with the intoxicated girls and the guys in the large noisy group.
-Talk was happening constantly with many of the groups in most trials.
-Touch happened mostly in the form of greeting hugs but was also observed between husband and wife kissing and laying heads on shoulders and also in the focal sample when the girl was flirting with guy number one in the form of playful hitting and shoving.
These stages were observed pretty well WITHIN the given observation times by different people at different times. And the range of relationships observed added variety to the examples of these stages of human mating behavior.
For my observation I chose the bar known as the Grey Lady, the day just turned out to be Valentine’s Day. Me and my girlfriend sat at the end of the bar and watched the single people go about their business. The focal sampling I decided to observe turned out to be just a guy alone at a bar on Valentine’s Day. I noticed him almost immediately once I had made myself comfortable, for starters he was wearing a dark blue button up shirt, so I could not tell if he was meeting someone or just wanted to look acceptable. After about ten minutes it was apparent that he was not meeting anyone, it was also apparent that he was not the happiest person that day, he consumed 5 mixed drinks within the 15 minutes that I watched him. Also he checked his phone for the first ten minutes, but I did not see him check it during the last five minutes. At first I thought he was talking to himself, but later discovered that he had a “hands-free” Bluetooth device. Once the time was up, I stopped watching him but I had a creeping suspicion that he was going to be there a while longer.
For the group observation I decided to stay at the Grey Lady and watch a group of men, (oddly enough there was a lack of females in the bar) they were all in their late twenties or early thirties. All of the men were drinking beers not mixed drinks, they had been at the bar since before my girlfriend and I had sat down. The “leader” of the group looked to be the most attractive and mature of the men, he was also the one who was making the most noise, cheering (to being single I am assuming) and what not. At the beginning of the allotted time period the people were sullen and concentrated on their drinking, but later they were all loud and boisterous, which was odd because they had only consumed about 2 beers a piece in the entire observation time. Although there were only a few females in the bar, the group did not even try to interact with the girls, and furthermore the television was off and the only conclusion I could come to was that they were actually spending some quality “bro” time together.