Touch Asymmetry Between the Sexes

  • Judith A. Hall
  • Ellen M. Veccia


Ever since the appearance of Henley’s ground-breaking study on sex differences in touch, textbook writers and many others have spread the word that men touch women more than vice versa, a difference said to be caused by the disparity in men’s and women’s social status (Henley, 1973). Henley (1973, 1977) provided a syllogistic analysis of the relations of status, touch, and sex that has seemed compelling to many: Higher status individuals have a touching privilege that they exercise in order to express and maintain their status advantage; men have higher status than women; therefore, touching between the sexes is asymmetrical in quantity, with men touching women more than vice versa.


High Status Status Indicator American Psychological Association Nonverbal Behavior Dyad Member 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith A. Hall
  • Ellen M. Veccia

There are no affiliations available

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