Territoriality is the space that we protect from invasion and is a specific example of proxemics, or how we use personal space (Gamble, p. 101). People with more power tend to invade the spaces of people with less power in order to assert dominance. Because men generally have more power and are more aggressive, they invade women’s spaces more than they invade other men’s and more than women invade their spaces.

A scene from the movie Twilight demonstrates how men invade women’s spaces during a scene between the two main characters- Bella and Edward- in the cafeteria. Edward constantly moves closer to Bella, even when she steps away. Although Bella holds her ground, she looks down and away during the one time she had to invade his space in order to get to the salad bar. Edward stands very close to her, leaning forward while she leans away.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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