By Jordan Holbrook: With all the recent furore around consent and the so-called ‘rape culture’, how many of these crossed wires and sexual/romantic faux pas are the fault of men? According to a recent study, men and women could be both held equally accountable for giving and reading into wrong signals, resulting in miscommunication and a touch on the knee or an attempt at a kiss when one isn’t wanted. These findings contradict the argument that it is men who overstep the boundary by assuming a woman is giving sexual signals when she is not.
Whilst it is true that it has been found men do predict a woman’s sexual intentions to be higher than what she later says her intentions actually were, it has previously been argued whether this occurs because men overestimate women’s intentions or because women underreport their intentions.
In the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Professor Priya Raghubir, chair of the Marketing Department at NYU Stern School of Business, and former NYU Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar Isabelle Engeler, find a gap in how women and men interpret dating situations and intentions.
Across three experiments, they measured the ‘misprediction bias’ between men and women. In the first experiment, they assessed the overall size of the misprediction bias then they altered the order-of-elicitation of self- and other-reports to assess the impact of the order on self-awareness and honesty, which occurred in experiments two and three.