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"At home (the US) you just stand there and they come to you.

Here you have to be more aggressive," said Cantina, who was voted 'biggest flirt' in high school.

"Basically we are descended from a long line of successful flirts and it is hard-wired into our brains," social anthropologist Kate Fox told .

"If we didn't initiate contact with the opposite sex, then we wouldn't reproduce, and the species would die out." Those searching for a soul mate or just for a bit of fun may welcome some guidelines to help sharpen their skills, ready for a bit of banter and eyelash battering all in the hope of catching one of cupid's arrows. For the subtle rules of flirting vary so much, that foreigners are often caught unawares unsure if they are being courted or insulted.

"Conversations with hidden erotic meaning, provocative allusions and even rude stories are all part of what makes the world go round," the study concluded. Registration is free – just choose your country and you're ready to go.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know.

Even though bottom-pinching may now be a thing of the past, women sitting on their own in a Rome cafe are likely to attract more than one rowdy '' and could find it hard to shake off their unwanted beau.

Flirting in Germany The Germans – ever anxious to get it right – have taken things one step further with several schools offering individual or group lessons in flirting etiquette.

For around EUR 125 students can take part in a weekend 'Flirt Workshop' at the Be2 school with teachers Justine Lethem and Volker Dottie saying their 'knowledge of flirting comes as much from their scientific as well as their practical experience'.