“Numerous studies have shown that men overestimate the sexual intent of women based on their clothing style; however, this hypothesis has not been assessed empirically in a natural setting. This small field study measured the time it took for men to approach two female confederates sitting in a tavern, one wearing suggestive clothes and one wearing more conservative clothes. The behavior of 108 men was observed over 54 periods on 16 different nights in two different taverns. The time it took for the men to approach after initial eye contact was significantly shorter in the suggestive clothing condition. The men were also asked by male confederates to rate the likelihood of having a date with the women, and having sex on the first date. The men rated their chances to have a date and to have sex significantly higher in the suggestive clothing condition. Results are discussed with respect to men’s possible misinterpretation that women’s clothing indicates sexual interest, and the risks associated with the misinterpretation.”
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