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Gender Differences


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UMBC Psyc 357

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Gender Differences

  1. 1. Toward an Understanding of Gender Differences in Inferring Sexual Interest Reviewed by Melissa Book Rebecca Eitner Nida Hussain Devery McDonald Meg Smith UMBC PSYC 357
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Previous studies have shown men think more often about sex than women (e.g. Jones & Barlow, 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Men express and have greater desire for sex than women (Baumeister, Catanese and Vohls, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Men oversexualize interactions with women (Abbey, 1982, Abbey & Melby, 1986, Harnish , Abbey & DeBono, 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Men misread friendliness cues from women (Abbey et al.,1987; Abbey Melby , 1986) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>However men do differentiate between friendly and sexually interested behaviors in experiments where actors intentionally displayed friendliness in video-taped interactions (Shotland and Craig, 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Men oversexualize despite the ability to differentiate behaviors because they may have a lower threshold than women for perceiving sexual interest (Threshold hypothesis) </li></ul><ul><li>Abbey and colleagues more recent hypothesis suggests that differences in gender sexual schemas may account for the lower threshold in some men. </li></ul>Introduction
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Rationale for current study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior studies to evaluate oversexualization are limited because they use descriptions of behavior, pictures or video instead of live interactions . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction methodology allows for examination of other facets of sexual judgments such as reciprocity and accuracy </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After brief opposite-gender interactions, men perceive women more sexually than women perceive men . </li></ul></ul>Introduction
  6. 6. <ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>N =86; 43 men, 43 women </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Procedure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants were told study concerned conversational smoothness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In first session, groups completed the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) to determine who is gender-schematic or gender-aschematic . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women session held first; they set a day and time for an interaction session </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At first session, after BRSI completion, men signed up for an interaction session with a woman they had not met </li></ul></ul>Methods
  7. 7. Methods <ul><li>Procedure (continued) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction session occurred one week from first session </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants interact one-on-one with member of opposite gender for 5 minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants reminded that study was about conversation smoothness and encouraged to introduce themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimenter monitored for prior acquaintance while instructing participants (experimenter not in the room during the interaction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Following interaction participants completed post-interaction questionnaire packet in separate rooms </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Methods <ul><li>Post-interaction Ratings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants rated themselves and their partners on extroversion and agreeableness, physical attractiveness, sexual traits and interaction behaviors on scale of 1(not at all) to 7 (extremely) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rated perceptions of interaction behavior: attentiveness, humor, friendliness, talkativeness and cheerfulness on similar 1-7 scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants also rated whether they would want future interactions with partner, were they attracted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rated conversation smoothness, extent of agreement and overall enjoyment </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Oversexualization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Men gave higher ratings on sexual index than did women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regardless of gender, people rated themselves higher on sexual traits than their partners, however no general response bias was found </li></ul></ul>Results
  10. 10. Results <ul><li>Gender Schemas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feminine men rated partner significantly less sexy relative to androgynous and undifferentiated men </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratings given by masculine men did not differ from any other group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s ratings were unaffected by their BRSI classification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results do not support that masculine men oversexualize more then other gender-role classifications </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Results support the hypothesis that men oversexualize brief interactions with women </li></ul><ul><li>Misperception of friendliness by men is not supported by the current study, however men did associate conversation smoothness with sexual interest </li></ul><ul><li>For men perceiving women: physical attraction strongly correlated with sexual index ratings and desire for future interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Women demonstrated a greater “what is beautiful is good” stereotype than men </li></ul><ul><li>Masculine women are perhaps somewhat freer in general from traditional societal stereotypes and restrictions and thus rate men higher in terms of sexual traits. </li></ul>Discussion
  12. 12. <ul><li>Some study limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Live interactions not video recorded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No independent assessment of physical attractiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small number of dyads limit the power of comparisons across BSRI types </li></ul></ul>Discussion
  13. 13. <ul><li>Levesque, Maurice J., Nave, Christopher S., & Lowe, Charles A. (2006). Toward an Understanding of Gender Differences in Inferring Sexual Interest. Psychology of Women Quarterly . 30 , 150-158. </li></ul>References