Master's Theses


Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the findings of flirtatious motivations form Hennignsen’s (2004) study to see if males and females hold the same perceptions of motivations for opening lines. Six different motivations are discussed (i.e. Sexual, fun, relational, exploring, esteem, and instrumental); all have been previously categorized as flirtatious motivations by Hennignsen. To determine the perceptions of the motivations of opening lines, 114 participants read 60 different opening lines and indicated perceptions as if the receiver of each line. The goal of this project was to determine if gender played a contributing factor in the perception of motivations of opening lines. Results of this study indicated that women and men do perceive the motivations of opening lines differently for the motivations of exploring and esteem. Hypothesis 1 found that men do not perceive opening lines as more sexually motivated than women. Hypothesis 2 found sexual motivaiotn, although not significant, was the most commonly chsen motivation in the study. Hypotheseis 3 found that women do not perceive more than men that opening lines have more of a fun motivation. However, the research question did find that within the areas of exploring and esteem, there is a significant difference in the way men and women perceive the motivations of opening lines. Additional tests ran for this study found that when comparing single and committed individuals there is no significant difference of perceptions of opening lines and also that the lines used within this study were perceived in the same manner among the age groups identified. Given the paucity of information on opening lines and the strong impact flirtatious interactions have on opening lines, this study helped determine the relationship between the two.


Carol Haggard

Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2007 Christina D. Davidson


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