Sex differences in attributions for friendly behavior: Do males misperceive females' friendliness?

Published on Jan 1, 1982in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology5.92
· DOI :10.1037/0022-3514.42.5.830
Antonia Abbey49
Estimated H-index: 49
(UM: University of Michigan)
This investigation tested the hypothesis that friendliness from a member of the opposite sex might be misperceived as a sign of sexual interest. Previous research in the area of acquaintance and date rape suggests that males frequently misunderstand females' intentions. A laboratory experiment was conducted in which a male and female participated in a 5-minute conversation while a hidden male and female observed this interaction. The results indicate that there were sex differences in subjects' rating of the actors. Male actors and observers rated the female actor as being more promiscuous and seductive than female actors and observers rated her. Males were also more sexually attracted to the opposite-sex actor than females were. Furthermore, males also rated the male actor in a more sexualized fashion than females did. These results were interpreted as indicating that men are more likely to perceive the world in sexual terms and to make sexual judgments than women are. Males do seem to perceive friendliness from females as seduction, but this appears to be merely one manifestation of a broader male sexual orientation. The research described in this article grew out of the observation that females' friendly behavior is frequently misperceived by males as flirtation. Males tend to impute sexual interest to females when it is not intended. For example, one evening the author and a few of her female friends shared a table at a crowded campus bar with two male strangers. During one of the band's breaks, they struck up a friendly conversation with their male table companions. It was soon apparent that their friendliness had been misperceived by these men as a sexual invitation, and they finally had to excuse themselves from the table to avoid an awkward scene. What had been intended as platonic friendliness had been perceived as sexual interest. After discussions with several other women verified that this experience was not unique, the author began to consider several related, researchable issues. Do women similarly misjudge men's intentions or is this bias limPortions of this manuscript were based on the author's
  • References (22)
  • Citations (473)
Published on Jan 1, 1979
Sedelle Katz1
Estimated H-index: 1
Mary Ann Mazur1
Estimated H-index: 1
Marianne LaFrance23
Estimated H-index: 23
(BC: Boston College),
Clara Mayo5
Estimated H-index: 5
(BU: Boston University)
Abstract A review of the literature on cultural aspects of nonverbal communication reveals the existence of both similarities and differences in the display of nonverbal behavior. It is argued that similarities are most manifest when analysis is at the level of the individual and the focus is on the objective, formal properties of the behavior; differences are more likely to become manifest when the analysis is at the level of the relationship between individuals and the focus is on the interper...
Published on Jan 1, 1978in Psychological Bulletin16.41
Judith A. Hall68
Estimated H-index: 68
(Johns Hopkins University)
This article summarizes results of 7S studies that reported accuracy for males and females at decoding nonverbal communication. The following attributes of the studies were coded: year, sample size, age of judges, sex of stimulus person(s), age of stimulus person(s), and the medium and channel of communication (e.g., photos of facial expressions, filtered speech). These attributes were examined in relation to three outcome indices: direction of effect, effect size (in SD units), and significance...
Published on Jan 1, 1978
Henri Tajfel35
Estimated H-index: 35
Published on Jan 1, 1978
Clara Mayo1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on Jan 1, 1977in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology5.92
Hazel Rose Markus69
Estimated H-index: 69
(UM: University of Michigan)
Attempts to organize, summarize, or explain one's own behavior in a particular domain result in the formation of cognitive structures about the self or selfschemata. Self-schemata are cognitive generalizations about the self, derived from past experience, that organize and guide the processing of the self-related information contained in an individual's social experience. The role of schemata in processing information about the self is examined by linking self-schemata to a number of specific em...
Published on Jan 1, 1977in Archives of Sexual Behavior3.12
Eugene J. Kanin9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Purdue University),
Stanley R. Parcell1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Purdue University)
A replication of earlier studies of male sex aggression conducted during the mid-1950s basically finds little modification in incidence and frequency. Approximately 50% of a sample of university women report being victims of sexual aggression during the academic year. Major changes from the earlier research appear to be focused around the nature of the pair relationships and the characteristics of the offended females.
Published on Jan 1, 1976
John H. Harvey35
Estimated H-index: 35
William Ickes44
Estimated H-index: 44
Robert F. Kidd12
Estimated H-index: 12
Cited By473
Published on Jun 27, 2018in Social Psychological and Personality Science3.60
Jessica M. Mao1
Estimated H-index: 1
(IU: Indiana University Bloomington),
M. L. Haupert1
Estimated H-index: 1
(IU: Indiana University Bloomington),
Eliot R. Smith52
Estimated H-index: 52
(IU: Indiana University Bloomington)
Can a perceiver’s belief about a target’s transgender status (distinct from gender nonconforming appearance) affect perceptions of the target’s attractiveness? Cisgender, heterosexual men and women...
Published on Jul 18, 2019in Journal of Sex Research3.06
Flora Oswald (PSU: Pennsylvania State University), Alex Lopes (Kwantlen Polytechnic University)+ 2 AuthorsCory L. Pedersen3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
Given that the sharing of genital images – colloquially known as “dick pics” – has become a widespread phenomenon, the purpose of the present study was to explore men’s motivations for sending unso...
Published on Apr 30, 2019in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin2.60
Edward Orehek16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Pittsburgh),
Lauren J. Human13
Estimated H-index: 13
(McGill University)
+ 3 AuthorsKenneth J. Sher71
Estimated H-index: 71
(MU: University of Missouri)
People are motivated to be perceived both positively and accurately and, therefore, approach social settings and adopt means that allow them to reach these goals. We investigated whether alcohol consumption helps or hinders the positivity and accuracy of social impressions using a thin-slicing paradigm to better understand the effects of alcohol in social settings and the influence of alcohol on self-expression. These possibilities were tested in a sample of 720 participants randomly assigned to...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Violence Against Women1.64
Jill C. Hoxmeier1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CWU: Central Washington University),
Julia O’Connor2
Estimated H-index: 2
(RU: Rutgers University),
Sarah McMahon16
Estimated H-index: 16
(RU: Rutgers University)
The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault recommends bystander training as part of campus sexual assault prevention efforts. The current study sought to understand salient themes among students’ qualitative responses for why they did not intervene in sexual assault risk situations. In 2014, undergraduate students (N = 9,358) at a large public university completed a web-based survey to assess bystander opportunities and responses for six risk situations. Content coding an...
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Journal of Business Research4.03
David M. Buss80
Estimated H-index: 80
(University of Texas at Austin),
Pete Foley
Abstract Mating motives, informed by an evolutionary perspective, are central to marketing and consumer behavior. Humans have an evolved menu of mating strategies that vary along a temporal continuum anchored by long-term committed mating (e.g., marriage) and short-term mating (e.g., one-night stands, brief affairs). Men and women, although similar in some ways, differ in their psychology of short-term and long-term mating in some respects. The proposed framework yields a four-quadrant matrix us...
Published on Dec 18, 2018
Ida M. Johnson13
Estimated H-index: 13
Robert T. Sigler13
Estimated H-index: 13
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology1.42
Pei Hwa Goh (Monash University Malaysia Campus), Peter Lucas Stoeckli (Military Academy), Dominik Schoebi14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Fribourg)
The current study examined, on the basis of past findings and theories on mood and cognition, whether people’s perception of sexual interest from others would decrease when they are in a negative mood and increase when they are in a positive mood. Using repeated-measures experiments, university students in Switzerland (n = 117) and Malaysia (n = 117) underwent mood inducement procedures followed by participation in video-guided imagined interactions, where they judged the sexual interest of thei...
Published on May 23, 2018in Social Psychological and Personality Science3.60
Vanessa K. Bohns11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Cornell University),
Lauren DeVincent1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Cornell University)
In two preregistered studies, we find that initiators of unrequited romantic advances fail to appreciate the difficult position their targets occupy, both in terms of how uncomfortable it is for targets to reject an advance and how targets’ behavior is affected, professionally and otherwise, because of this discomfort. We find the same pattern of results in a survey of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate students (N = 942) who recalled actual instances of unwanted o...
Published on May 1, 2018in Personality and Social Psychology Review9.90
Gurit E. Birnbaum19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya)
The sexual behavioral system evolved to motivate reproductive acts by arousing sexual desire. Building on the idea that this system has also been “exploited” by evolutionary processes to promote enduring bonds between romantic partners, the present article introduces an integrative model that delineates the functional significance of sexual desire in relationship formation and maintenance. This model explains why individuals’ sexual reaction to their partner is context-dependent, clarifying how ...