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Psychological correlates of perception of sexual intent in women
journal contributionposted on 2001-08-01, 00:00 authored by Eric KoukounasEric Koukounas, N Letch
In a sample of 183 men and 186 women, the authors assessed (a) the relative contributions of gender and level of nonverbal social cues to the perception of a female actor's sexual intent during a videotaped social interaction with a man and (b) the association between those variables and personality traits implicated in faulty sexual-information processing. The authors assessed those variables while the participants viewed 1 of 3 film segments depicting a female-male interaction. The authors experimentally manipulated eye contact, touch, physical proximity, and female clothing. At all levels of those nonverbal cues, the men perceived more sexual intent in the female actor than did the women. The perception of the female actor's sexual intent increased as the nonverbal cues in the film segments were magnified: Both actors displayed more eye contact, touch, and physical proximity, and the female actor wore more revealing clothing. Relative to the women, the men demonstrated greater sexual preoccupation and reduced sociosexual effectiveness, variables associated with inferring greater sexual intent in the female actor.