-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Men often have difficulty
accurately reading a woman's level of interest in them, a new study
In what should come as no surprise to any woman who's spent time
in the dating world, a certain type of guy tends to think all women
want him, while other guys just can't seem to pick up on the
The study included 96 male and 103 female U.S. college
undergraduates who took part in a "speed-meeting" exercise that
involved talking for three minutes to each of five members of the
Before the exercise, the participants rated their own
attractiveness and were assessed for their desire for a short-term
sexual encounter. After each conversation, the participants rated
the other person on a number of measures, including physical
attractiveness and their perceived sexual interest.
The researchers found that:
The study appears in an upcoming issue of the journal
"There are two ways you can make an error as a man," study author Carin Perilloux, a psychologist at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., said in a journal news release. "Either you think, 'Oh, wow, that woman's really interested in me' -- and it turns out she's not. There's some cost to that," such as embarrassment.
The other male error is failing to realize that a women is
interested in him.
"He misses out on a mating opportunity. That's a huge cost in terms of reproductive success," Perilloux explained.
When it comes to human evolution, it's likely that males who
overestimated their appeal to females and pursued them even at the
risk of being rebuffed were more likely to reproduce and pass this
trait to their genetic heirs, the researchers suggested.
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