Friday, January 30, 2015

Study gives answer to why men think 'sex' when women just want to be 'friends'

A new study has recently revealed that men and women misinterpret the signals regarding sexual interests a lot while having the conversation, it has been reported. Researchers at the Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), stated that women reported that men often misinterpret their signals of friendliness as sexual interest. Conversely, the men in the study reported that women often misinterpret their signals of sexual interest as friendliness.

In most areas of psychology, there is little to no difference between genders: mental capacity, intellectual achievements, food preferences, men and women are all more or less the same. But when it comes to reproduction and challenges related to finding a sexual partner, there are suddenly differences to be found.

Evolutionary psychology is the study of how the human mind has evolved, developed and adapted over time. One thing that evolutionary psychologists are specifically interested in was gendered sexual psychology between cultures and social groups.

Seen through the lens of evolutionary psychology, they can better understand why men often wrongly assume that women who smile and laugh during conversation might want to sleep with them. A man's ability to reproduce was all about seizing every opportunity. He has to spend both money and time on courtship, which still may not lead to sex. But it costs even more to not try, because then he won't be able to reproduce.

A woman can have sex with multiple men over a short period of time without producing any more children. So for men, it was a low-risk, potentially high-reward situation for men to have sex with women whenever the opportunity presents itself.

On the other hand, the cost was potentially great for a woman if she thinks that a man was more sexually interested than she was. A woman risks pregnancy, birth, nursing and raising the child, as well as lost opportunities to reproduce with others.

Across thousands of generations, women's psychology has evolved to set the bar higher, which means they need much clearer signals than men before they consider sex.

The results showed that both men and women find that their social signals are misinterpreted by the opposite sex. Women in the study answered that they had acted friendly towards a man and had this misinterpreted as sexual interest about 3.5 times over the past year on average. The men in the study also reported having been misinterpreted by the opposite sex in this way, but far less often.

The results also showed that men rarely misinterpret women who actually do signal sexual interest. The study showed that this was independent of whether or not the person was in a steady relationship or not

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