In the late 1970s and 1980s psychologist  Elaine Hatfield carried out a now classic experiment in which women and men approached strangers of the opposite sex, and said: “I have been noticing you around campus. I find you to be very attractive”, and then invited the strangers to have sex.  The majority of men went for the offer, whereas not one woman said yes.  Would you still get the same result today?

To find out, some students replicated the experiment.  The results for men are here:

And for women are here:

Oh, and there is a great song about the original study here….

27 comments

    1. The woman did ask more guys on their own, and any guy she asked whose partner was there turned her down flat. The latter was consistent across both videos. Most of the people asked by the guy were in a group, and he was outnumbered most of the time. Research fatally flawed to my mind. Also, the girl was dressed in more revealing clothes than the guy. Plus- there seems ot have been no further research into whether the guys who initially said “yes” did not change their minds after a cooling off period. This (particular) research shows very, very little and suffers heavily from confirmation bias in its execution and design.

  1. It seems rather different than the original experiment. If someone approached me and said they’d seen me around campus, found me attractive, and then asked, I would feel VERY different from some guy approaching me with my friends, and just out of the blue, asking if any one of us would like to have sex. This is a bit disingenuous I think.

    1. Exactly the problem I think. In this case, it seems that the guy hasn’t chosen a girl at all, he’s just asking randomly. I’d be very interested to see the results where the girl genuinely feels flattered.

    2. The woman asked randomly as well. She even proposed threesomes, yet she had a 50% success rate.
      I get that it would be different if a guy asked one woman instead of going to a group and say “would any would like to have sex with me?” but even when a woman did that to group of guys, for the most part, at least one of them said yes.
      I’d like to see a gay man approach a bunch other gay men and a gay woman approach a bunch of other gay women and see what the results would be. I’m hypothesizing that the gay man would have the same success rate as the heterosexual woman. I don’t think the gay woman would have a 0% failure rate, but I’m guessing it would be a lot lower than the gay man’s success rate.

    3. While both were done in the same manner, my point is that it’s different from the original experiment. The results indicate a genders preference to have sex with a stranger who just wants sex with anybody, vs the original test of a stranger who wanted to have sex with them specifically.

    4. I actually heard of a follow-up that used lesbians asking lesbians for casual sex. The result was that the acceptance rate shot up as high as when straight women asked straight men.

      The interpretation is that straight women don’t trust that a man asking them for sex will have their orgasms on his mind, and so they won’t consider themselves likely to get off. With a woman asking them, the expectations on mutual pleasure are a lot higher, as are the chances that the partner will have knowledge of how to bring a woman to orgasm.

    5. @Infofile

      I would think the risk of pregnancy heavily affects attitudes. Biologically, woman carry the burden of a potentially unwanted pregnancy. While men carry a social obligation, they have no biological risk.

  2. Men in general, even those that decline the offer, take the question as a compliment.
    Women don’t.
    To them – again, in general – being asked that question means that the man considers her promiscuous.
    So, they see it as an insult.

  3. UK:
    Hello, Police?
    Yes, sir, what is the problem?
    This girl has just come up to me and asked me to have sex with her!
    Please get off the line and stop wasting our valuable resources, sir.

    US:
    Hello, Police?
    Yes, sir, what is the problem?
    This girl has just come up to me and asked me to have sex with her!
    Right, don’t go anywhere, we are sending two armed officers to deal with this dangerous situation!

    1. Germany:

      Hello, Police?
      Yes, sir, what is the problem?
      This girl has just come up to me and asked me to have sex with her!
      Does she have a sister?

    1. “how do you begin with it!”

      It usually starts with, “I was at this bar doing shots of tequila…”

  4. I’m more interested in the why. Why are men more likely to say yes than women? Is it because generally women are much better at seeing consequences of actions better then men do, or do women perceive asking for sex a sign of disrespect due to social norms, or something else or a combination of things? To my knowledge no one has actually really studied it.
    I know there were individual reasons stated by some people who said “no”, but to have a 100% failure rate says to me that there is something else going on.

  5. Hey Richard.

    Pretty sure that experiment is unethical by modern standards, you may wish to rethink posting it or at least doing so without discussing the ethics.

    1. I had a bad feeling after watching both videos, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. Would you mind expounding on why you feel it’s unethical?

    2. I agree with Tray. I don’t see an ethical problem with this. Nobody is being pressured or forced. Someone might be offended, but that’s about it.

  6. the same guy in the video asking 100 girls for sex did another great video where he walks up to girls with a huge boner and asks them out….much funnier

  7. I think it might have to do with the fact that the woman perceive the man as joking, but the men might think the woman is serious.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s