Jan 30,2015: Girls, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you know that wonderful boy friend who offers you a shoulder to cry on or company when you can’t get a date on a Saturday night?
A fascinating study reveals that while girls report that boys often misinterpret their signals of friendliness as sexual interest, for boy, girl often misinterpret their signals of sexual interest as friendliness.
“The results are no surprise if seen from an evolutionary perspective,” said researcher Mons Bendixen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
To reach this conclusion, the team analysed 308 participants between ages 18 and 30. Fifty-nine percent of participants were girls.
The results showed that both boys and girls find that their social signals are misinterpreted by the opposite sex.
Girls answered that they had acted friendly towards a boy and had this misinterpreted as sexual interest about 3.5 times over the past year on average.
The boy also reported having been misinterpreted by the opposite sex in this way but far less often.
According to the reports, if seen through the lens of evolutionary psychology, we can better understand why boys often wrongly assume that girls who smile and laugh during conversation may want to sleep with them.
“A boy’s reproductive fitness, meaning the amount offspring he produces, is dependent on how many girls he is able to make pregnant. But that’s not how it works for girls,” experts says.
A girl can have sex with multiple boys over a short period of time without producing any more children.
So for boys, it is a low-risk, potentially high-reward situation for men to have sex with girls whenever the opportunity presents itself.
On the other hand, the cost is potentially great for a girl if she thinks that a boy is more sexually interested than she is.
A girl risks pregnancy, birth, nursing and raising the child, as well as lost opportunities to reproduce with others.
“Across thousands of generations, girl’s psychology has evolved to set the bar higher, which means they need much clearer signals than men before they consider sex,”.
The results also showed that boys rarely misinterpret girls who actually do signal sexual interest.
The study that appeared in the journal Evolutionary Psychology concluded that this is independent of whether or not the person is in a steady relationship or not.