To understand why, the psychologists ran one observational and two experimental sub-studies testing the desirability of opposite-sex responsiveness to single, heterosexual Israeli university students.Experimental studies allow researchers to determine cause and effect.The bad news is, this doesn’t help men figure out their options.

But people may rely more than usual on traditional gender roles to cope with the uncertainty of early dating, the psychologists say.

The man is still expected to ask the women out and to pay for the date, they note.

Many of the women, on the other hand, didn’t really care how responsive the men were.

The psychologists behind the study say women may be looking at behaviors other than responsiveness to determine men’s masculinity and fitness as partners.

Gurit Birnbaum, a psychologist at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, who led the study.

“Regardless of the reasons, men may want to slow down if their goal is to instill sexual desire.” The findings – published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in July – could help guide both men and women through those pivotal first dates.

Or, they say, women may interpret men’s responsiveness in a range of gendered ways — to the extent that it’s even possible to generalize about the tendencies of either men or women.

“Women may see responsive men as more masculine, less masculine, or neither,” said Prof.

For what it’s worth, the research indicates women are looking for “man-like” behavior early in dating. It points to tendencies among members of a specific group — university students — and the results are possible trends, not absolute predictors.