More than 20 years ago, two researchers conducted a field experiment to determine the differences between men and women when accepting proposals to maintain a relationship with an unknown person, moderately attractive, of the other sex. I am sure that it seems to many that there was no need to do any experiment for that, because the result was perfectly predictable, but the fact is that they did. And yes, men responded affirmatively on more occasions. The difference between men and women was also greater the more sexually explicit the proposal was.
A few months ago, a work was published in which the results of a field experiment are presented in which the same has been done as in the one of two decades ago, only that in this case different variables have been considered, in case the Differences in behavior may be affected by these other variables.
The experiment was done with young people, Danish university students between 20 and 25 years old, and three formulas for flirting were tested. All of them started in the same way: “Hello, my name is [name]. Excuse me for bothering you, but I’ve seen you walk around here and you’ve seemed very attractive to me. “And then they followed differently. The least explicit said: “Would you like to stay with me tonight or during any other day of the week / weekend?”; the intermediate: “Would you like to come to my apartment tonight or during any other day of the week / weekend?”; and the most explicit: “Would you like to sleep with me tonight or on any other day of the week / weekend?”
In general, and in the same line as the experiment that was intended to reproduce, men responded favorably in a greater percentage of occasions, although when the proposal obeyed the less explicit formula, there were no differences between men and women, and the differences were maximum when the proposal was the most explicit. On the other hand, people without stable partners accepted the proposals much more easily than the paired ones, which seems quite logical.
The attractiveness of the person making the proposal did not have a significant effect on the percentage of favorable responses from men, but in women. That is, men accepted or rejected the proposal regardless of whether the woman who did it was more or less attractive. Conversely, if the men who made the proposal were more attractive (and although they had been selected for moderate attractiveness), women tended to accept the proposal more than if they were less attractive, and that difference was statistically significant.
This result is consistent with certain theoretical predictions according to which, if a woman engages in an occasional or short-term relationship, she is more likely to do so with a man with attractive physical traits, since such traits would be indicators of a higher genetic quality and, Ultimately, a greater reproductive success. Thus, as regards occasional links, by not being too selective, men would tend to look for a greater number of couples; That is the formula that would give them greater reproductive success. On the contrary, the greater reproductive success is linked in women to the viability and genetic quality of the progeny, so they would be more selective with the quality of the occasional couple.