– Spain tops “World Flirtation League”; U.S. second-last
– Spanish women twice as likely as U.S. ones to “make first move”
– Even Canadians flirt far more
– Global study analyses 90 million contacts
American women are the “least flirtatious” in the world, with the exception of those from Ecuador, according to a global study of online flirting.
They are less than half as a likely as women from Spain, the world’s most flirtatious, to make the first approach to a member of the opposite sex. Even Canadian women far out-flirt U.S. ones.
The study of “flirtation behaviour” across the world analyses 90 million contacts made during a month on Badoo.
Spain tops the resulting “World Flirtation League”, which ranks Badoo’s 20 most popular countries by the number of contacts with a man initiated per month by the average woman in each country.
The U.S. and Ecuador prop up the table, with Ecuador edging the U.S. out of last place by the tiniest margin: a mere 0.1 of a man – barely a nose or a hair’s breadth – per month. The average American woman initiates contact with 0.63 men per month, versus 0.62 by her counterpart in Ecuador.
“Most of us probably still expect men to be the ones making the first approach towards the opposite sex”, says Lloyd Price, Direct of Marketing for Badoo, the world’s largest social network for meeting new people, with over 80 million registered users.
Indeed, Badoo’s figures fulfil this expectation, since men in every country are still far more likely than women to make the first move.
“But we wanted to know whether women in some countries were more likely to take the lead than those in others – and what this said about those societies.”
Spain tops the table, just ahead of Poland, Dominican Republic, Italy and Argentina. Latin countries (speaking either Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese) occupy eight of the top 10 places.
Canada is the only English-speaking country to make the top 10, in ninth place. Women in Anglo-Saxon countries are generally far less flirtatious than those in Latin ones. “Maybe it is their Puritan heritage”, wonders Lloyd Price.
The average Spanish woman initiates 1.33 contacts with a man per month – more than double the figure for women in the U.S. (0.63) and nearly double that for women in either the UK (0.78) or France (0.69).
Even Canadian women far out-flirt American ones. They approach 0.96 men-per-month, or 50% more than their American counterparts.
Carmen, the fiery Gypsy woman of 19th century Seville who gave her name to Bizet’s famous opera, was no shy flower but neither did she typify the Spanish female. So, the finding that Spanish women are over twice as forthright or flirtatious as American ones may surprise some people.
“Maybe Spanish society has changed more than people realise, while America has changed less than people think”, says Lloyd Price.
John Hooper, author of the book, ‘The New Spaniards’, agrees: “Some people still have an outdated view of Spain as being the country that Hemingway wrote about.
But Spain has changed dramatically in the 35 years since the death of Franco in 1975. “Until the mid-1970s, the status of women in Spain was lower than in any other European country, except Turkey. Spanish women couldn’t open a bank account without their husband’s permission.”
“Now, you have a country where the proportion of women directors on the boards of big companies is greater than in, for example, a northern European country like Belgium.”
The “Old Spain” of stooped señoras garbed in black has given way to a “New Spain” of more modern, forthright women, epitomised by the likes of Penelope Cruz.
“When I was writing my book, I interviewed an American sociologist who had been measuring change in different countries by looking at the differences in attitudes between the older and the younger generations. Spain showed the largest such difference of any of the 80 countries he surveyed.”
“Men in Spain can be forgiven for being still a bit in shock.”
WORLD FLIRTATION LEAGUE
• Explanation: “Score” means the number of contacts per month initiated by the average woman in that country. So, Spain’s score of 1.33 means that the average Spanish woman initiates 1.33 contacts with a man per month.