The sexual overperception bias: An exploration of the relationship between mate value and perception of sexual interest.

Kohl, Carmen and Robertson, Julia (2014) The sexual overperception bias: An exploration of the relationship between mate value and perception of sexual interest. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 8 (1). pp. 31-43. ISSN 2330-2925

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0097247

Abstract

The study explored the robust finding that men overperceive women’s sexual interest and tested the explanatory value of the Error Management Theory with regard to this overperception bias, by investigating the relationship between sexual overperception and mate value. In line with this evolutionary theory, the hypothesis predicted a negative correlation between the 2 variables. Ninety male participants (age: M = 24.35, SD = 8.23) were recruited, and data regarding their self-perceived attractiveness and masculinity, sociosexual orientation, and perception of sexual interest were collected using questionnaires. Photographs of participants were used to analyze measured facial masculinity, using the eye-mouth-eye angle, and attractiveness, through ratings by 10 further female participants (age: M = 23.2, SD = 8.57). A multiple regression revealed that the model was able to predict 22% of the variance in perception of sexual interest (Radj2 = .22, p < .001), with positive bivariate correlations indicating that, contrary to the prediction, high mate value is associated with high levels of sexual overperception. Because the working hypothesis was not supported, the impact of social factors was discussed. It was suggested that past sociosexual experiences act as reinforcement, shaping successful high mate-value men’s expectations, who subsequently display higher levels of sexual overperception.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: error management theory, mate value, sexual interest, sexual overperception bias, sociosexual
Members: Bucks New University
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 14:01
Last Modified: 24 May 2017 14:01
URI: http://collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/15745

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