Believe it or not, most men are not just sleazy slobs who try to pick up girls as soon as they walk into the club or bar; they actually don’t know any better due to a few scientific reasons.
The underlying message which most women already know, is that a woman’s appearance does not directly correspond to how sexually attracted she is to a guy. If men used a woman’s appearance as a gauge for how attracted she is to him, this can often lead to miscommunication and sexual assault. The trick is how to avoid this miscommunication and for men to read the emotional cues that the woman gives off.
Teresa Treat, of University of Iowa, led a study and found that men who are usually sexually coercive and aggressive rely on being more attractive and don’t bother to read the emotional cues, like body language. Treat says, “this suggests there’s a confusion about what a man is feeling himself and what a woman appears to be communicating”.
220 male and 276 female college students were asked to rate a women’s sexual interest from extremely rejecting to extremely sexually interested after being shown 130 full-body photos of women. 50% of the students were told to focus on the woman’s emotional cues, which includes body language and facial expressions, but were told to ignore the physical attractiveness of the females in the photos. The students also had to note how much, if at all, did the woman’s attractiveness influence their decisions.
The study found that women relied more on emotional cues more than men, and male participants used the woman’s attractiveness as a gauge.
Treat and her colleagues also plan to investigate what the effects of alcohol has to this experiment, but for the meantime, men need to make sure that they don’t rely on the appearance of the woman but pay close attention to the emotional cues she is giving off.