Men's memory for women's sexual-interest and rejection cues



The current work characterizes young men's memory for young women's heterosocially relevant affective cues (e.g. sexual interest and rejection) and examines characteristics of both the woman being perceived and the male perceiver as predictors of memory. Undergraduate men (n = 232) completed similarity-ratings and recognition-memory tasks with photos of undergraduate women who varied in attractiveness, provocativeness of clothing and expression of sexual interest. Participants also completed a control memory task and a measure relevant to the risk of exhibiting sexually aggressive behaviour, as well as indicating how many serious relationships they had experienced. Multilevel regression techniques revealed that (a) men's memory for women's sexual interest improved when women were sexually interested at encoding, attractive and dressed provocatively; (b) men who reported more frequent serious relationships showed better memory for women's sexual interest and (c) men at risk of exhibiting sexually aggressive behaviour showed worse memory for women's sexual interest. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.