She thinks friends, he thinks sex - the biological reason

Tuesday, February 03, 2015
[PHOTO: Sayyed Akram Rehman] 
Oslo: For instance imagine that a woman and a man are having a conversation. She seems friendly and interested in conversation with her smiling and warm. He interprets her behavior as sexual interest.

Or maybe: a man is sexually attracted to a woman he has just met, and signals this in various ways. She thinks that he is just being friendly.

Identify these situations? If so, you're not alone.

We misunderstand each other

According to a recent study by researchers at the Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) men and women misinterpret the signals regarding sexual interests a lot while having the conversation.

On the contrary, men in the study reported that women often misinterpreted their signals of sexual interest as friendliness. 

In psychology, mostly there is little to no difference between genders: intellectual achievements, mental capacity, food preferences, men and women are all more or less similar.

However, as far as reproduction is considered, along with challenges associated with finding a sexual partner, there are differences to be found.

With the help of evolutionary psychology, it can be better understood why men often mistakenly assume that women who laugh and smile during conversation may be willing to sleep with them.

Through thousands of generations, the psychology of women has developed to set the standard higher, which means women need much clearer signals as compared to men before they consider sex.

The results of the study showed that both men and women think that their social signals are misconstrued by the opposite sex.

In the study, women reported that they had acted friendly towards a man and had this friendliness misunderstood as sexual interest around 3.5 times over the past year on average.

The men in the study answered having been misinterpreted by the women in this way; but far less often.

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