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Why Do Men Think Women Want To Have Sex When They Don’t? Study

Why are men so confused about sexual interest versus sexual consent? Sexual victimization of women by men is a growing societal concern that is present in all environments of day-to-day life.


Why are men so confused about sexual interest versus sexual consent? Sexual victimization of women by men is a growing societal concern that is present in all environments of day-to-day life,

According to a new research, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, instances of sexual violence are higher than any other crimes amongst college students.

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In response to this growing epidemic, faculty at Binghamton University and Rush University in Chicago, Ill., sought to identify host factors that may predict at college-age men’s chance to engage in sexual misbehavior.

The study co-written by State University of New York found that men tended to confuse sexual interest with sexual consent, but those perceptions of consent varied more as a function of situational factors such as how far along people were in a sexual interaction or if the pair had had sex previously, as opposed to personal characteristics of the men.

The team, led by Ashton M. Lofgreen, professor in the psychiatry department at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, surveyed 145 heterosexual students attending a large university in the southeastern region of the United States. The men were given a series of hypothetical sexual scenarios which described a date with “a girl that the men find very attractive” and with whom they would like to have sex.

“We found that the way in which the woman communicated her sexual intentions, that is verbal refusal versus passive responding, had the largest effect of men’s perceptions,” said Binghamton University Associate Professor of Psychology Richard Mattson. “However, there was also evidence of a precedence effect.”

The preferment effect happens, when men compare the incidence of some past sexual behavior with future consent to high levels of intimacy, in some cases even in the face of direct refusal by the woman.

Similarly, the acceptance of rape fairy tale “When a woman says no, she really means yes” and adherence to hypermasculine beliefs only became stronger when the woman’s sexual meaning, were ambiguously transferred.

“However, our findings also suggest that some men were earnestly attempting to determine whether consent was given, but was nevertheless relying on questionable sexual scripts to disambiguate the situation,” said Mattson.

A sudden decrease in parental supervision and the consumption of alcohol, are among aspects influence students, increase the risk of involvement in sexually force situations among the collegiate relationship. Yet, a collegiate setting can provide a sphere of influence to educate young men and women at a time when patterns of sexual behavior are developing.

The study’s findings highlight the benefit of risk reduction programs that empower women to assertively signal their sexual desires, educate men on the limits of perceived sexual desire, and reinforce not open to more than one interpretation as the standard for consent, he said.



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