Men over-perceive the sexual interest they provoke in their partner of opposite genre while women under-perceive it. The evolutionary explanation is: men risk less than women in case of false perception (they rarely bring up children alone).
- Uncommon Descent | Evolutionary psychologists discover that it … (uncommondescent.com)
Summary from the 2011 Psychological Science article at http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/group/busslab/pdffiles/The%20Misperception%20of%20Sexual%20Interest.pdf
In the current study (N = 199), we utilized a speed-meeting methodology to investigate misperceptions of sexual interest. This method allowed us to evaluate the magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest, to examine whether and how women misperceive men’s sexual interest, and to assess individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception. We found strong support for the prediction that women would underestimate men’s sexual interest. Men who were more oriented toward short-term mating strategies or who rated themselves more attractive were more likely to overperceive women’s sexual interest. The magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest was predicted by the women’s physical attractiveness. We discuss implications of gender differences and within-sex individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception.