In the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Volume 47, Issue 2, July 2009, Pages 145-149), T. Joel Wade, Lauren K. Butrie & Kelly M. Hoffman present findings of a study on the male perceptions of women’s opening lines. The study, dissected in further detail at PsyBlog, reveals that men prefer women to be very direct — to the point of being boringly blunt. Ladies should ask a man to dinner (#1) as opposed to asking him if he’s busy that weekend (#6); ask him if he’s got a girlfriend (#2) rather than ask about what shows he’s watched (#5).
But the most surprising finding, at least to PsyBlog, was this:
The only surprise is the low ranking of funny or sexual humour. Men don’t seem to appreciate the lewd come-ons suggested by gender stereotypes. This relatively low rating for a jokey approach is another thing shared by both sexes. Previous work by Bale et al. (2006) found that women weren’t particularly impressed with men trying to be funny, despite what we are often told. It seems opening lines are a serious business for both sexes.
This is not surprising to me or readers of this blog — remember when I told you that men, no matter what they say, do not want sexually aggressive women? But it’s interesting to note for another very important reason…
Remember all that commotion & conversation about Steve Ward’s stupid & misogynistic comment on Vh1’s Tough Love? You know, where supporters of Ward’s and those who blamed the victim in the name of Women’s Safety alike declared that Ward’s statement that Arian “would end up raped if she kept talking like that” was accurate and well-intentioned?
These people believe(d) that his (sometimes even admittedly inept) scare tactic was a tool to get Arian (and others) to “wake up” to reality. Of course, they forget that rape is not an act of “misunderstanding” and “misplaced lust” but one of violence; but we’ll ignore that for now and just look at how this study is more proof that Steve Ward is the tool.
Men (and women too), do not find frank sexual talk and humor to be an arousing come-on; it’s actually more of a turn-off.
So there, ladies and gents, you have more proof that wildly sexual talk is less likely to inspire a man to think she’s into him than if she has asked him out to dinner.
And, just to be clear, asking a man to dinner is not a signal for rape. (Heaven help me if any of you argue that point!)
No word, still, on just how direct a woman has to be to communicate that No means No.
So I am still left badgering the point that society needs to condemn acts of sexual violence. We’ll need to say it loud and clear, of course.
Perhaps by way of introduction. “Hi, I’m Alessia and sexual assault and domestic violence are not acceptable.”
I think I’ll get that made on a t-shirt.