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Men Remember Women’s Initial Sexual Interest

Men Remember womans' initial sexual interestNew research finds that college-aged men are very likely to remember a woman’s initial sexual interest (attraction or rejection).

A man’s memory is especially prompted when the woman in question is thought to be attractive, is dressed provocatively, and expresses positive sexual interest.

In the study the men were shown full-body photographs of college-aged women who expressed cues of sexual interest or rejection.

The participating males represented mixed sexual histories, and a capacity for varying degrees of sexually aggressive behavior.

The ability to discriminate accurately between photos that the males had and had not seen previously indicated good memory for women’s sexual interest.

Throughout the study they were presented with previously viewed photos and new photos of the same women in which they communicated the opposite cue (e.g., rejection instead of sexual interest).

The average young man showed excellent memory for whether women initially displayed sexual interest or rejection.

However, males showed better memory for the woman’s sexual interest when the woman was broadly more appealing to him: she initially expressed positive sexual interest, was dressed more provocatively, and was thought to be attractive.

College-aged men at risk of displaying sexual aggression toward female acquaintances show worse memory for college-aged women’s sexual interest and rejection cues.

Lead author Teresa Treat observes, “Misremembering a woman’s level of sexual interest could prompt some men to make an unwanted sexual advance and become frustrated when a woman doesn’t respond as anticipated.

“Conversely, college-aged men who report more frequent serious romantic relationships with women show better memory for college-aged women’s sexual-interest and rejection cues. This suggests that tracking and remembering a partner’s emotions may play a role in the initiation and maintenance of a serious romantic relationship.”

The long-term significance of the findings will depend on whether the memory of sexual interest impacts the male’s subsequent behavior, experiences, and social decisions when cues of sexual interest are presented in a more lifelike manner (i.e., in videotapes or real-life interactions).

However, numerous factors other than memory for a partner’s emotions play a central role in developing both positive and negative sexual experiences among young adults.

The study is published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Men Remember Women’s Initial Sexual Interest

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Men Remember Women’s Initial Sexual Interest. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/10/12/men-remember-womans-initial-sexual-interest/19507.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.