Sex Differences in Misperceptions of Sexual Interest Can Be Explained by Sociosexual Orientation and Men Projecting Their Own Interest Onto Women
AuthorLee, AJ; Sidari, MJ; Murphy, SC; Sherlock, JM; Zietsch, BP
Source TitlePsychological Science
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
University of Melbourne Author/sMurphy, Sean
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLee, 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, 31 (2), pp.184-192. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619900315.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLAccepted version
Sex differences in misperceptions of sexual interest have been well documented; however, it is unclear whether this cognitive bias could be explained by other factors. In the current study, 1,226 participants (586 men, 640 women) participated in a speed-dating task in which they rated their sexual interest in each other as well as the sexual interest they perceived from their partners. Consistent with previous findings, results showed that men tended to overperceive sexual interest from their partners, whereas women tended to underperceive sexual interest. However, this sex difference became negligible when we considered potential mediators, such as the raters’ sociosexual orientation and raters’ tendency to project their own levels of sexual interest onto their partners. These findings challenge the popular notion that sex differences in misperceptions of sexual interest have evolved as a specialized adaptation to different selection pressures in men and women.
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