Clueless Guys Can't Read Women

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Principessa, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Clueless Guys Can't Read Women
    Jeanna Bryner
    LiveScience Staff Writer
    LiveScience.comThu Mar 20, 10:32 AM ET



    More often than not, guys interpret even friendly cues, such as a subtle smile from a gal, as a sexual come-on, and a new study discovers why: Guys are clueless.


    More precisely, they are somewhat oblivious to the emotional subtleties of non-verbal cues, according to a new study of college students.


    "Young men just find it difficult to tell the difference between women who are being friendly and women who are interested in something more," said lead researcher Coreen Farris of Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.


    This "lost in translation" phenomenon plays out in the real world, with about 70 percent of college women reporting an experience in which a guy mistook her friendliness for a sexual come-on, Farris said.


    Some might think the results come down to "boys being boys," and so even the slightest female interest sparks sexual fantasy. But the study, to be detailed in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science, also found that it goes both ways for guys - they mistake females' sexual signals as friendly ones. The researchers suggest guys have trouble noticing and interpreting the subtleties of non-verbal cues, in either direction


    The study's funding came from the National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


    Flirting or not?

    To unravel it all, Farris and her colleagues examined non-verbal communication in a group of 280 undergraduates, both men and women with an average age of 20 years old.


    The students viewed images of women on a computer screen and had to categorize each as friendly, sexually interested, sad or rejecting. Each student reported on 280 photographs, which had been sorted previously into one of the categories based on surveys completed by different groups of students.


    Overall, women categorized more images correctly than men did. When it came to friendly gestures, men were more likely than women to interpret these to mean sexual interest.


    More surprising, the researchers found guys were also confused by sexual cues. When images of gals meant to show allure flashed onto the screen, male students mistook the allure as amicable signals.


    So ladies trying to brush off a guy at work or the gym may need to be, uh, more direct. Men in the study also had more trouble than women distinguishing between sadness and rejection.


    Programmed for sex

    The results help to tease out the underlying causes of guys' flirt-or-not mistakes. One common explanation for reports of men taking a friendly gesture as "she wants me," is based on men's inherent interest in sex, which is thought to result from their biology as well as their upbringing.


    Following this idea, men and women would be aware of the same behavioral cues, but men would have a lower threshold for what qualifies as sexual interest. In contrast, women would wait for compelling evidence before labeling a behavior as sexual interest.


    However, Farris and her colleagues didn't find this to be the case. Rather than seeing the world through sex-colored glasses, men seemed just to have blurry vision of sorts, overall. For instance, the college guys sometimes mistook sexual advances as pal-like gestures.


    "I would say that there are many factors that could relate to men demonstrating insensitivity to women's subtle non-verbal cues," said Pamela McAuslan, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, who was not involved in the current study. These factors would include socialization, gender roles and gender stereotypes, she said.


    For instance, "women are supposed to be the communicators, concerned with relationships and others ... men are supposed to be less concerned with communication and to be constantly alert for sexual opportunities," McAuslan said. "This could mean that men in general may be less sensitive to subtle non-verbal behavior than women."

    That doesn't mean such men can't learn to read cues or that all men are clueless decoders of women's gestures.

    "These are average differences. Some men are very skilled at reading affective cues," Farris told LiveScience, "and some women find the task challenging."

    A Brief History of Human Sex The Sex Quiz: Myths, Taboos and Bizarre Facts 10 Things You Didn't Know About You Original Story: Clueless Guys Can't Read Women
     
  2. rob_just_rob

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    Well, duh.
     
  3. ranredd

    ranredd New Member

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    Couldn't have put it better myself.
     
  4. HazelGod

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    QFT.

    The cluelessness goes both ways, too. Some of us have to be slapped in the face with a wet muff before we figure out a woman is into us.
     
  5. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Duh....



    nj whats with all these duh topics you're posting... they are all like .. common sense.
     
  6. RamIt

    RamIt Member

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    Except that the article paints what women want as black and white, right or wrong. Most of the time women themselves cant figure out what they want (or rather what they want men to want)!.
     
  7. CaptainChaos

    CaptainChaos New Member

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    Im definately a people watcher, and I believe there is a reason or purpose behind EVERY SINGLE action/behaviour that a person does.
    Regardless how simple or complex it is...
    Often people aren't even aware of what they are doing.

    If you can learn to read the subtle cues, you will realize some women are actually "screaming" at you...
     
  8. Love-it

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    We all hope that our fantasy will finally happen! Just because it didn't play out the last 10,000 times a woman smiled doesn't mean it won't happen this time.

    Eternal optimism is a wonderful thing.
     
  9. jdscher212

    jdscher212 New Member

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  10. Highroad

    Highroad New Member

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    Another lame stereotype.
    When will you learn that these kinds of broad behavioral generalizations are always innaccurate, demeaning, and all-in-all just plain ignorant?
    The delcaration of being "clueless" the article levies against men is more aptly applied to the individual who wrote the article, and to whoever was "clueless" enough to post it on this board.
     
  11. TBoneSteak

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    OOHhhh sick burn


    But seriously though, I'm getting pretty tired of the way males are portrayed as such big dumb-asses in the media. This article, while probably based on some real research, was written in a biased tone, and came across sounding like one of those commercials that has an idiot-man as the fall guy to try and sell something to women.
     
  12. ManlyBanisters

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    Big dollar that feminist dollar!

    Seriously though, TBone - you are not alone in being sick of this 'tv / commerical' stupid man who needs a woman to explain shit to him. It's easily as offensive as those 50's ads about the 'little woman' at home and such.
     
  13. Supersized

    Supersized New Member

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    Studies have shown women are desinged to read nonverbal cues better than men. One factor is their wider peripheral vision. A woman can stand close to a man and see as far down as his crotch without moving her eyes downward. This prepheral vison aids them in reading peoples body language.
     
  14. horneyoldguy

    horneyoldguy New Member

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    Men are clueless, that is why we find the opposite sex so fascinating.
     
  15. Zayne

    Zayne New Member

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    yes, men are not natural communicators, but the hidden message here is that women are bad at maths & sciences, lol
     
  16. _avg_

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    "New and exciting!"
     
  17. dong20

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    I think your answer lies within your question.:rolleyes:
     
  18. Calboner

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    The thesis of the researchers may be true, but their method is complete bullshit and I doubt that their results prove anything at all. What determined which answers were "correct"? When the women were photographed, were they told to look "friendly," "sexually interested," and so on? And is that supposed to provide a fair test of people's judgments of facial expressions (or body language)? As I recall, studies of people's judgments of facial expressions in still photographs have shown that without the clues provided by context and motion, their judgments are very unreliable.
     
  19. midlifebear

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    I thought this only applied to dogs. For example, retrievers (especially Golden Retrievers) are born with the ability to understand human language and great in the arts and humanities. If you want a dog with skills in math and science you're better off with an Alsatian or small terrier. If you want a completely vacuous air head, I understand Afgan hounds and Gordon Setters tend to be completely clueless.

    Yes, most (99.99%) straight men do tend to be clueless about a lot of things; not just women. It's a pack mentality thing. It's the way "God" made them, bless 'em all.:biggrin1:
     
  20. B_Monster

    B_Monster New Member

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    NJ, If I can figure out how I can't put my cock in a paper towel roll or what to do with my free hand when I masterbate or even how big my cock is then I think I'm an excellent communicater. :wink:
     
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