Like arm barrier gestures, crossed legs are a signal that a negative or defensive attitude may exist. The purpose of crossing the arms on the chest was originally to defend the heart and upper body region and crossing the legs is an attempt to shield the genital area. Crossed arms also indicate a more negative attitude than do crossed legs, and the arms gesture is more obvious. Care should be taken when interpreting crossed leg gestures with women as many have been taught that this is how to 'sit like a lady'. Unfortunately for them, however, the gesture can make them seem defensive.
There are two basic crossed leg-sitting conditions, the standard leg cross and the figure 4 leg lock.
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