I have recently completed my PhD at a department outside of the US. My area of specialisation is one which was not widely studied in my department- whilst completing my studies, only myself and 2 other students (both male) were involved in research in this area. Early in my studies, I attempted some purely platonic, collegial conversation with these 2 male students. The difference between their behaviour towards me was staggering. The first student was married, with 2 young children, and had no issue at all about meeting up for coffee to discuss our research. However, the second student, who was (I believe) single seemed to interpret any friendly conversation as a “romantic invitation” on my part. Despite stipulating that I was not in fact interested in him, I decided not to pursue any further interaction, lest he misinterpret my intentions.
I think it is a sad indictment that you cannot even have a simple conversation without it being considered to be some sort of sexual invite.