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So let’s talk a little about what happens in a social situation.
The most significant find in Baranowski and Hecht’s study is how much their findings correspond with Terri Conley’s pleasure principle: women were less likely to be receptive to offers of casual sex because most of the time the sex wasn’t seen as being enjoyable enough to overcome the potential risks.
Terri Conley before them, researchers Andreas Baranowski and Heiko Hecht at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz decided to conduct a series of experiments to test the Clark-Hatfield studies… First, they replicated the original study’s methodology.
In their study, Clark and Hatfield had their volunteers visit the Florida State University campus and approach members of the opposite sex with the line “Hey, I’ve noticed you around campus.
I find you to be very attractive.” They would then ask the subject either to go on a date with them, to follow them back to their apartment or to skip the formalities and just go to bed with them.
In a turn of events that surprised literally no one, none of the women interviewed said “yes” to the offers of sex with a stranger while 3/4ths of the men did.
In practice what happens is that you end up getting men who are demonstrating that they are poorly socially calibrated and uncomfortably aggressive – suggesting that not only are they going to be shit in bed, but they’re potentially dangerous.Part of the DNA of the PUA scene are the idea of the “bitch shields” and “shit tests” – that women are continually trying to weed out “the unworthy” by being dismissive, rude or trying to make men jump through their hoops.Because these are “tests”, PUAs are encouraged to ignore them or fire back with something suitably “alpha” in order to pass; by doing so he is supposedly showing his social value is higher than hers and thus increasing her interest in him.This rather neatly puts a stake in the heart of many of the evo-psych arguments about who’s biologically programmed to want sex; as soon as the social and safety factors are eliminated, the difference in interest for casual sex is negligible.
Of course, this is in a laboratory setting, which by its nature is going to affect the answers.
Baranowski and Hecht repeated the study with a minor change – adjusting the location from a college campus to the more socially correct nightclub.