THURSDAY, Oct. 14, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- The average college-aged male has an excellent memory for whether a woman initially displays sexual interest or rejection, especially when she's attractive, is dressed provocatively and expresses positive sexual interest, a new study shows.
But the men the researchers believed were at risk of being sexual aggressive toward female acquaintances showed a worse memory for women's cues about sexual interest or rejection.
The study appears in the current online issue of the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology.
"Misremembering a woman's level of sexual interest could prompt some men to make an unwanted sexual advance and become frustrated when a woman doesn't respond as anticipated," study author Teresa Treat said in a journal news release.
"Conversely, college-aged men who report more frequent serious romantic relationships with women show better memory for college-aged women's sexual interest and rejection cues. This suggests that tracking and remembering a partner's emotions may play a role in the initiation and maintenance of a serious romantic relationship," Treat said.
For this study, college-aged male participants were shown photos of women displaying sexual interest and rejection cues.
For more on first impressions of the opposite sex, go to the Association for Psychological Science.