Men 'scared of advances from women'

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

YOUNG MEN are terrified by the prospect of sexual advances from women and tend to regard those who make them as abnormal or insecure, according to research presented to the British Psychological Society today, writes Judy Jones.

Men believe they need more sex than women and believe it is important for them to make the first move in any sexual encounter. But men acknowledge that fears of impotence or failure to satisfy their partner play a part in attitude towards sexually assertive women.

The findings are based on a preliminary analysis of interviews done in the past three months with 100 heterosexual men and women, mainly students, by Jane Ussher, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Sussex.

She found that women's views largely reinforced the men's. Although most women confessed to having strong sexual appetites, they tended to suppress them and refrained from making the first approach. 'Women said they were frightened of being labelled a 'slag', so even though they seem to have the same kind of desires, most do not express them,' according to Dr Ussher, who is presenting her study to the BPS women's conference at the University of Lancaster today.

'They tend to use more subtle, covert devices to show interest in a man, or just hope he makes the first move.' She argues the study confirms the view that men control and categorise women on the basis of their sexual behaviour.