Good news, ladies. A new study has confirmed what you've probably thought all along: some men can be pretty creepy.
For a study titled "On the nature of creepiness," Knox College researchers surveyed 1,341 individuals (1,029 women and 312 men) between the ages of 18 and 77 (the mean age was 28.97) using a Google Doc that asked participants whether certain occupations and different characteristics and behaviors -- like not looking people in the eye and licking your lips frequently -- were creepy. Researchers defined creepiness as "anxiety aroused by the ambiguity of whether there is something to fear or not." The results? More than 95 percent of participants "perceived men as being more likely to be creepy than women." The study notes that this interpretation was "equally likely to be held" by both men and women. Women were also more likely than men to link sexual assault with creepiness.
Lead researcher Frank McAndrew told The Huffington Post he was "a little surprised" that such an overwhelming amount of people thought men were more likely to be perceived as creepy, but broke down why it's actually not all that shocking.
I think it makes good sense that men would be perceived as creepy more frequently. If getting "creeped out" is about being on high alert to determine if there is something to be afraid of or not, men ought to set off the alarm more than women would. Men are more potentially dangerous to men and women alike; it could also explain why women (more than men) are likely to perceive some sort of sexual threat from a creepy individual.
The study, which McAndrew emphasized is an "exploratory survey" and not the "definitive last word," also found that clowns were the creepiest occupation, followed by taxidermists, sex shop owners and funeral directors. The majority of participants (59.4 percent) said creepy people didn't even know they were creepy as well.