Austin, TX, United States (AHN) – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to unattractive men themselves.
A new study finds that unattractive guys looking for a quick hookup are more likely to overestimate how attractive women find them.
Researchers from Williams College and the University of Texas-Austin, took 96 men and 103 women, all undergraduates, and put them through a “speed date” scenario.
The men and women completed surveys rating themselves on attractiveness and their desire for a short-term sexual encounter. They then conversed with five members of the opposite sex for about three minutes each.
After the meeting, they rated the partners on physical attractiveness and how interested in them sexually the partner appeared to be.
Among findings, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, were that men who were looking for a short-term hook-up were more likely to inflate a woman’s desire for them. Men who thought they were “hot” also overestimated women’s desire for them. Furthermore, the more attractive the woman was to the man, the more likely he was to overestimate his desire in her.
Men who were actually considered attractive by the women’s rankings did not appear to have this discrepancy in evaluating the situation.
Women in the study consistently underestimated their male partners’ interest in them sexually.
Researchers said the discrepancy can be explained from an evolutionary basis. Men who are looking for casual sex are limited only by the number of women they can get to have sex with them, so overestimation makes sense.
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