Men were also more willing to act on this mistakenly perceived mutual attraction.
Both men and women were equally attracted to romantically involved opposite-sex friends and those who were single; “hot” friends were hot and “not” friends were not, regardless of their relationship status.
As a result, men consistently the level of attraction felt by their male friends.
So the question then becomes: why do we perceive men as the instigators of platonic-based passion and not women?
“I am sure the media hype up sex differences in sexual interest,” Hart says.
In order to investigate the viability of truly platonic opposite-sex friendships—a topic that has been explored more on the silver screen than in the science lab—researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab.
Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.