Today’s episode of The Psychology World Podcast focuses on social psychology and the misconceptions around people’s sexual interest in them, and if you’ve read any of my other blog posts or books then you know that I like Sociocultural Psychology and the Psychology of Human Relationships.
Personally, I think that this is a very interesting topic to discuss because humans always think that people are less or more interest in us sexually then they actually are and typically men tend to overestimate sexually attraction and women tend to underestimate how much men on into them.
Note: for the purposes of this article we are talking about heterosexual people.
Moving onto the topic itself, a new study published in the Journal Psychological Science in January 2020 has revealed some very interesting things about these misconceptions, because the study (Lee et al, 2020) has found that these gender differences in misconceptions is down to two factors.
Firstly, men tend to overestimate sexual attraction because of their own sexual attraction. For example, if they believe that a woman is into them a lot then they to be into that women a lot. Researchers have described this as the man projecting their own sexual interest onto the women.
Secondly, this misconception is because of sociosexual orientation as well as men tend to have more unrestricted sociosexual orientation, meaning that they are more open to causal and uncommitted sex with a higher perception of attraction.
Whereas women tend to have more restricted sociosexual orientation, so they are less open to uncommitted and causal sex.
Overall, it is combination of these two factors that explain the differences in the misconceptions of sexual attraction between the gender as well as these biases are largely down to the sexual strategies of each gender. For instance, men tend to reproduce with many partners (evolutionary speaking) and women tend to focus on one mate who can provide resources. All to ensure the survival of the species.
I hope that you’ve today’s episode of The Psychology World Podcast and if you want to learn more about social psychology as well as relationships then please check out my book: Sociocultural Psychology 2nd Edition and Psychology of Human Relationships.
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Lee, A. J., Sidari, M. J., Murphy, S. C., Sherlock, J. M., & Zietsch, B. P. (2020). Sex differences in misperceptions of sexual interest can be explained by sociosexual orientation and men projecting their own interest onto women. Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619900315