2 Behaviors That Make Men Wrongly Think You're Interested, According To Research

Why men always think you're hitting on them when you're not.

woman dancing at a bar Jacob Lund | Canva

Men often misjudge when a woman is interested in them, which leads to an awkward situation and sometimes even harassment! But why is this the case?

A previous 2014 study found that it's because men have low risk, but high reward, for trying to sleep with as many women as possible. But a study finds there are two key factors that make men misread women.

“At least three-quarters of college women self-report that their friendliness toward a man has been misperceived as sexual interest, and one-quarter to one-half of college men self-report having misperceived the friendliness of a woman as sexual interest," said researchers of the study.


RELATED: 11 Little Things Men Secretly Adore About The Woman They Love

However, a 2015 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior had researchers ask 237 bisexual and heterosexual male undergraduates to look at pictures of women dressed differently and in different situations. In each picture, they included a full-body photo of one of 14 college-age women, each with a different facial expression, from neutral to friendly with a pose and dress at varying levels of provocativeness and attractiveness They then evaluated their hypothetical interest of the woman on a nine-point scale.  


So who did they pick as more likely to be interested in them?

RELATED: 15 Things Men Only Do When They're Flirting With You

They found men base a woman's interest not on what they say or how they act but on these two things

Here are 2 behaviors that make men wrongly think you're interested:

1. You go to a bar

If the pictured woman was in a particular social environment like a bar, house party, or bedroom then they were picked as the ones who would be interested in them.

2. You show some skin

Men tend to find ladies who were perceived as "provocatively" dressed as being more likely to be interested in them. 

Because, you know, why else would a woman be dressed like that or dare to be in a public space? Not because they just enjoy doing those things for themselves. (*Sarcasm.*)


RELATED: If Any Of These Signs Are Familiar, He's Not Invested In Your Relationship

While showing some skin took first place in predicting how interested the men found the women to be, it turns out social setting played a far more significant role in their opinions of the women than did the women’s perceived flirtiness. In other words, a woman’s location, rather than the first impression she gives, has a lot to do with how available men think she is.

Ugh hopefully, more studies like this will point out how much change is needed, since many men's perceptions are way off-base.

So, in conclusion, the study proves that men judge a women’s perceived interest based on where they meet them, basically proving that location is everything when it comes to finding a mate.


RELATED: Top 5 Places To Meet A Man Who's Marriage Material

Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.