Gender Differences in Perceptions of Women’s Sexual Interest during Cross-Sex Interactions: An Application and Extension of Cognitive Valence Theory
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- Henningsen, D.D., Henningsen, M.L.M. & Valde, K.S. Sex Roles (2006) 54: 821. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9050-y
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Researchers have consistently found that men report that women display more sexual interest than women report they actually do in cross-sex interactions (e.g., Abbey, 1982). Cognitive Valence Theory is employed to provide a theoretical framework to help understand these findings (Andersen, 1989). A series of perceptual and cognitive processes consistent with Cognitive Valence Theory were examined as possible explanations for the gender difference. Gender differences emerge for both perceptual and cognitive variables. In addition, perceptions of sexually motivated behaviors and variables associated with appropriateness judgments and personal receptivity were found to predict perceptions of women’s sexual interest.