Sex Roles

, Volume 54, Issue 11, pp 821–829

Gender Differences in Perceptions of Women’s Sexual Interest during Cross-Sex Interactions: An Application and Extension of Cognitive Valence Theory

  • David Dryden Henningsen
  • Mary Lynn Miller Henningsen
  • Kathleen S. Valde
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-006-9050-y

Cite this article as:
Henningsen, D.D., Henningsen, M.L.M. & Valde, K.S. Sex Roles (2006) 54: 821. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9050-y

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Flirting Human sex differences Physical attractiveness Human courtship Miscommunication 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Dryden Henningsen
    • 1
  • Mary Lynn Miller Henningsen
    • 1
  • Kathleen S. Valde
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA