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Women overestimate and men underestimate their partner’s sexual advances

25 April 2018

A new paper published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships explores how accurate heterosexual people are at judging their partner’s attempts to initiate sex.

It studies their ability to the spot their partner’s cues and also their overall impression of how often their partner makes sexual advances.

IThis is an important topic. As the researchers, led by Kiersten Dobson at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, note:

“Sexual satisfaction is associated with relationship happiness, whereas sexual dissatisfaction is associated with relationship dissolution.”

The results show that both men and women are pretty good at identifying the behaviours that their own partners use to indicate that they’d like to have sex. However, on average, the women overestimated the number of times that their partner tried to initiate sex, whereas the men got it about right.

In a second study the women also thought that their partners made more sexual advances than they actually did, but the men underestimated their partner’s advances.

As the researchers say:

“Navigating sexual activity can be difficult, especially when partners’ behaviours that indicate their sexual interest are subtle.”

Click here to read the full Research Digest article by Emma Young.


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