Specific Cues Influence Sexual Memory For Men

Woman showing sexual interest

Men in their college years are very likely to recall whether or not a woman showed sexual interest after just one encounter. The recollection is even more likely when a woman is considered attractive, shows positive interest sexually, and is provocatively dressed, according to an Applied Cognitive Psychology study.

For this study, men viewed full-body pictures of women in their late teens and early twenties who showed either sexual interest or sexual rejection. Men in the study had various sexual backgrounds and also a variety (from none to some) aggressive sexual behavior.

Determination between pictures a man had not seen yet showed good memory of the sexual interest of a woman. During the study, men saw pictures they had seen as well as new ones of the same women, now showing a different sexual interest. Typically, a man proved to have a great memory for the initial sexual cue a woman showed. However, memory proved to be even better if the picture included a woman thought to be attractive, showing positive interest sexually, or if she was provocatively dressed.

Worse memory was witnessed in college-aged men who have some risk of aggressive sexual behavior. Improperly remembering whether or not a woman was sexually interested may lead to certain men making unwanted advances at a woman and potentially becoming upset if the woman does not act as the man thought she would.

Experts explain the remembering of a partner’s emotions can assist the beginning and continuity of a long-term romantic relationship.

Longer-term results for this study may rely on if and how the sexual interest memory affects a man’s social decisions and behaviors when shown via video or by true human interaction.

Researchers also explain additional factors affect the memory of a sexual cue in young adults as well.