Is she interested? That’s the question scientists just asked a bunch of men.
Researchers at the University of Iowa had men look at photos of women and rate their perceived sexual interest on a scale of -10 (extremely rejecting) to 10 (extremely interested). The scientists instructed the men to focus on the women’s body language and facial expression to gauge their interest, but some men paid more attention to the women’s attire and attractiveness instead.
Across the board, however, men improved at reading sexual interest after seeing how far off their guesses were. And the researchers hope the study will be part of a solution to prevent sexual aggression by men.
Of course, the only way to know if a woman is truly interested is to ask her, and listen to what she says. But misreading her expression and body language can make men more aggressive from the moment they say hello, and makes men more likely to ignore lack of consent later.
See if you can do better by taking the quiz below, which we’ve repurposed from the original study: