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Baranowski and Hecht zeroed in on a commonly overlooked fact in these studies: women face greater personal and social risks when it comes to sex.
Unsurprisingly, the potential for physical danger, pregnancy and good old-fashioned slut-shaming bullshit are all unlikely to induce the screaming thigh-sweats in even the terminally horny.
One of the oldest canards – something I’ve written about before, in fact – is the idea that women don’t like sex, especially casual sex, as much as men do.
It’s the subject of many a heated debate, the punchline to hacky comedians’ jokes and the background noise in movies and sitcoms since pretty much forever.
During the study, they were presented with pictures of ten members of the opposite sex and told that – among other details – all ten of these individuals were interested in meeting up with them, either for a date or for sex. 100% of the men were down for meeting up with at least one of the pictured candidates for casual sex – no surprise there.
However of potential candidates that both men and women were willing to hook up with; men chose a little over three possible partners on average while women chose a little under three partners out of the ten.
To test this idea, Baranowski and Hecht concocted a new study.
In this version, the subjects – men and women both – were invited into the lab under the pretense that they would be taking part in a study to help a popular dating site adjust and calibrate its compatibility matrix.
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To give an example, let’s look at the Pick-Up community.
Many – if not most – schools of pick-up teach an intimidatingly aggressive approach to getting sex, one that’s almost specifically designed to turn women off.
Terri Conley before them, researchers Andreas Baranowski and Heiko Hecht at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz decided to conduct a series of experiments to test the Clark-Hatfield studies… First, they replicated the original study’s methodology.
In their study, Clark and Hatfield had their volunteers visit the Florida State University campus and approach members of the opposite sex with the line “Hey, I’ve noticed you around campus.