We've all met men who think they're God's gift to women.

No matter how many times they're rebuffed in the dating game, they always bounce back.

But a study suggests those who display such a fighting spirit might be the ones favoured by evolution - the more a man believes a woman will fancy him, the more likely he is to try it on and therefore get lucky and procreate.

It also suggests that if a man's super attracted to a woman, the chances are she's not interested. It claims men are wired to get it wrong time and again because evolution is telling them not to miss a mating opportunity.


The research involved 96 male and 103 female undergraduates, who were put through a "speed-meeting" exercise, talking for three minutes to each of five potential opposite-sex mates.

Before the conversations, the participants rated themselves on their own attractiveness and were also assessed for the level of their desire for a short-term sexual encounter.
After each "meeting" they rated the partner on a number of measures, including physical attractiveness and sexual interest.

The results showed that men looking for a "quick hook-up" were more likely to overestimate the women's desire for them. And, the more attractive the woman was to the man, the more likely he was to overestimate her interest.

The researchers believe these errors may have enhanced men's reproductive success over thousands of years. Psychologist Carin Perilloux, of Williams College in Massachusetts, said there's two ways men can go wrong.

"Either you think, 'Oh, wow, that woman's really interested in me' and it turns out she's not. There's some cost to that, such as embarrassment or a blow to your reputation.

"The other error: she's interested, and he totally misses out. He misses out on a mating opportunity. That's a huge cost in terms of reproductive success."

The researchers say the kind of men who "went for it", even at the risk of being rejected, were ultimately more successful more often.

The findings will published in the journal Psychological Science.