The New Science of "Gaydar"

Gahars

Bakayaro Banzai
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Just in case anyone here isn't familiar with the idea of gaydar, it's the idea that people can easily pinpoint whether or not someone is gay from quick observations alone. It's pretty commonly used for the sake of small talk and jokes (my favorite example), but surely there can't be that much truth to it, right? I mean, it's just ridiculous.

Well...

Our research, published recently in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, shows that gaydar is indeed real and that its accuracy is driven by sensitivity to individual facial features as well as the spatial relationships among facial features.

We conducted experiments in which participants viewed facial photographs of men and women and then categorized each face as gay or straight. The photographs were seen very briefly, for 50 milliseconds, which was long enough for participants to know they’d seen a face, but probably not long enough to feel they knew much more. In addition, the photos were mostly devoid of cultural cues: hairstyles were digitally removed, and no faces had makeup, piercings, eyeglasses or tattoos.

Even when viewing such bare faces so briefly, participants demonstrated an ability to identify sexual orientation: overall, gaydar judgments were about 60 percent accurate.

Since chance guessing would yield 50 percent accuracy, 60 percent might not seem impressive. But the effect is statistically significant — several times above the margin of error. Furthermore, the effect has been highly replicable: we ourselves have consistently discovered such effects in more than a dozen experiments, and our gaydar research was inspired by the work of the social psychologist Nicholas Rule, who has published on the gaydar phenomenon numerous times in the past few years.
:arrow: The New York Times

You read it here: gaydar, in a sense, does actually exist (and scientific papers have no sophisticated euphemism for it, apparently). There are enough subtle differences in the facial structures of homosexuals to generally distinguish them from other people. This is now a scientifically recognized fact.

Now, I'm sure this all sounds a bit ridiculous. "Come on, Gahars, are you seriously telling me that researchers devoted time and energy to prove that gaydar, of all things, exists? What a waste! Also, what makes you so perfect and wonderful?" To which I respond, "No, wait, there's good reasoning behind it! And hey, I'm just like everyone else; I put my pants on one arm at a time."

As the article goes on to mention, this research shows that policies keeping homosexuals in the closet (like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell") are fundamentally flawed and ineffective. Keeping them in place, then, is more than just morally objectionable.

Well, there's something you tell your friends. "Gaydar: It's science now!"
 

Skelletonike

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Lol, didn't even know it was called gaydar or something... I my classmates and other people doing it often over here, I guess they're usually correct then? z.z"
That's some seriously messed up thing, that gaydar. .-.
 

Gahars

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..
..driven by sensitivity to individual facial features as well as the spatial relationships among facial features..
So, Homosexuality changes your facial structure? Or is homosexuality determined by your facial structure? :blink:

Unfortunately the article doesn't seem to hold an answer for that question. I remember hearing once that some people believe that homosexuality is caused by the mother's immune system going after the fetus (if I have that wrong, please feel free to correct me); the developments that cause homosexuality and the different facial structure could both result from that.
 

Gahars

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Actually if it's a 60% success rate, that DOES sound like crap to me too.

A wild guess between two choices would have approximately a 50% success rate, eh?

Like it says, 60% doesn't sound like much, but statistically speaking the number is more than enough. Not only is it well above any margin of error, it's been consistently achieved throughout (according to the article) more than a dozen experiments.
 

iluvfupaburgers

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this is so stupid. there is no such thing as gaydar. the probability of success sounds just as close as 50% which is randomly. maybe that percent is affected by the law of large numbers which would mean that this experiment still needs more trials it needs a little more experiment to get to 50% chance. also how can your face determine if you are gay. just so stupid. ive always said there is a difference between being effeminate and being gay. today's society says that both have to be related but ive seen many effeminate guys that are straight. and ive also seen the manliest men and be gay
 

Gahars

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this is so stupid. there is no such thing as gaydar. the probability of success sounds just as close as 50% which is randomly. maybe that percent is affected by the law of large numbers which would mean that this experiment still needs more trials it needs a little more experiment to get to 50% chance. also how can your face determine if you are gay. just so stupid. ive always said there is a difference between being effeminate and being gay. today's society says that both have to be related but ive seen many effeminate guys that are straight. and ive also seen the manliest men and be gay

It's really obvious when people haven't read the original post.
 
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