The researchers also found that women overestimate men's ability to pick up on sexual signals.
They argue that many females wrongly believe that the men are well aware of their attempts to woo, but are just not interested in responding.
"Failure to pursue could be an indicator of misperception but could easily be explained by noninterest,” the scientists write in the journal Psychological Science.
In contrast, women are very aware that males get the wrong end of the stick when they are simply being friendly.
This is because, the researchers argue, men who misconstrue a friendly gesture as a come-on are more likely to follow through with inappropriate behaviour.
Such embarrassing encounters will lodge more keenly in a woman's memory, and she will also be more likely to discuss it with her friends.
Of course, this is the only time men get feedback, too. When we make Type II errors, we generally never know it, going our way thinking our assumption that the young lady was “just being friendly” was correct. So you can see how exclusively negative feedback would over time make us very conservative in our estimation of female attraction.
This line was funny:
"The average bloke either doesn't realise that we fancy him until we are giving birth to his children in the labour ward; or he presumes all women fancy him all the time.”
I find it comforting – and therefore suspicious – to think that those kind alpha girls were actually flirting with me back then.