''Gaydar'' may be real, says Univ. of Washington study

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 21, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
    (CBS News) -- Can you judge someone's sexual orientation just by looking at their face? According to a new scientific study, both men and women may have this inherent "gaydar" ability.

    The research, published in the May 16 issue of PLoS One, showed that both men and women correctly judged a person's sexual orientation by simply looking at the person's picture more frequently than they would by chance. Participants were able to pick a woman's sexual orientation in over two-thirds of the cases, the study showed.

    "(Determining sexual orientation) may be similar to how we don't have to think about whether someone is a man or a woman or black or white," said lead author Joshua Tabak, a psychology graduate student at the University of Washington, told ScienceDaily. "This information confronts us in everyday life."

    The researchers hoped that this study could help shed light on how sexual orientation, as a societal construct, is conceptualized.

    In the experiments, 24 University of Washington students - mostly women between the ages of 18 to 22 - were asked to look at photos taken from Facebook profiles of people who identified as gay or straight. For the purposes of the study, people who said they were bisexual were not included. In order to check whether the order in which the facial features were presented made any difference (known as configural processing), an additional 129 students were also asked to determine sexual orientation by looking at images presented upright and upside down.

    In order to avoid giving any "clues," the photographs were devoid of hairstyles, facial hair, ears, makeup and glasses, and were presented in grayscale and adjusted for brightness. The subjects were then shown the images for 50 milliseconds and then asked to say if the person was gay or straight as quickly as possible.

    Both tests showed that subjects were able to correctly guess someone's sexual orientation in most of the cases. Participants were 65 percent accurate in telling straight women from gay women, and 57 percent accurate when telling straight men from gay men. The number slipped to 61 percent and 53 percent when the pictures were presented upside down. Researchers noted that people had a higher chance of assuming a man was gay when the picture was presented the wrong way, and hypothesized that the numbers went down because configural processing probably aids in snap judgments of sexual orientation.

    Tabak also added that because this experiment only tested American college students, people from older generations and other cultures who do not interact with as many gay people may be less accurate in making straight or gay judgments.

    Michelle Castillo, CBS NEWS 21 May 2012
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 21, 2012 11:32 PM GMT
    I think my otherwise excellent gaydar would slip a little if all the information I had was a heavily edited B&W photograph. That's not how we normally use our gaydar in the real world, is it? (Although I once found an LTR BF by judging his newspaper photo)

    I evaluate on a range of inputs, that include voice, posture, gestures, vocabulary, etc, a total impression of the person. Yeah, I strongly believe in gaydar, but this "study" fails to reproduce the conditions under which I use my own gaydar, and assumes it's exclusively about facial features, which it is not.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    May 21, 2012 11:41 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI think my otherwise excellent gaydar would slip a little if all the information I had was a heavily edited B&W photograph. That's not how we normally use our gaydar in the real world, is it? (Although I once found an LTR BF by judging his newspaper photo)

    I judge on a range of inputs, that include voice, posture, gestures, vocabulary, etc, a total impression of the person. Yeah, I strongly believe in gaydar, but this "study" fails to reproduce the conditions under which I use my own gaydar, and assumes it's exclusively about facial features, which it is not.


    Of course, it's not...but there definitely is "gay face." There are many, many, many people who you can just look at their face and know they are gay...I think it's the most inaccurate method (the most accurate being a dick in their mouth), but there are some people who you know just by looking at their face..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 21, 2012 11:47 PM GMT
    I have always notice people who are sort of homophobic that give that certain look of "your gay" aren't you. And then the occasional bi guy that is open to messing around with that smile on his face. Or that serious look from a conservative client that says "I know" now. Meeting people can be fun or intimidating to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:05 AM GMT
    I am rather skeptical of this study considering the sample size, composition and the degree beyond chance that they were correct. I wonder how many photos they looked at and what percentage of the photos were gay vs straight.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:07 AM GMT
    kandsk saidI am rather skeptical of this study considering the sample size, composition and the degree beyond chance that they were correct. I wonder how many photos they looked at and what percentage of the photos were gay vs straight.


    I was wondering the exact same thing.

    I think it is interesting, but then I wonder, how come straight women still hit on me?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidYeah, I strongly believe in gaydar, but this "study" fails to reproduce the conditions under which I use my own gaydar, and assumes it's exclusively about facial features, which it is not.


    I totally agree with you about how it's not only about facial features.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:24 AM GMT
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:24 AM GMT
    MightyMouse87 said
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif


    So...you guys are saying I should cross it off of my MBA list?

    Sigh, good bye Seattle!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:31 AM GMT
    Chainers said
    MightyMouse87 said
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif


    So...you guys are saying I should cross it off of my MBA list?

    Sigh, good bye Seattle!!


    Not if you like hipsters
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    SkittleGangsta said
    Chainers said
    MightyMouse87 said
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif


    So...you guys are saying I should cross it off of my MBA list?

    Sigh, good bye Seattle!!


    Not if you like hipsters


    So...run the fuck away from Seattle. Got it.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    May 22, 2012 12:35 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI think my otherwise excellent gaydar would slip a little if all the information I had was a heavily edited B&W photograph. That's not how we normally use our gaydar in the real world, is it? (Although I once found an LTR BF by judging his newspaper photo)

    I evaluate on a range of inputs, that include voice, posture, gestures, vocabulary, etc, a total impression of the person. Yeah, I strongly believe in gaydar, but this "study" fails to reproduce the conditions under which I use my own gaydar, and assumes it's exclusively about facial features, which it is not.


    But it still finds it.
    If it works under such reduced conditions then it's reasonable to infer that it works as well or better under more information rich conditions.

    More interesting is the fact that the person's underlying physiology was sufficient to convey meaningful information on the gay/straight subject. (That physiology could still have been the result of environmental/behavioral influences, but it's still important.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    Excuse me. Not *unless* you like hipsters
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:37 AM GMT
    SkittleGangsta saidExcuse me. Not *unless* you like hipsters


    Yea, I hate hipsters, so that means dont go to Seattle right?

    Hipsters piss me off with their obscure words and numbers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:37 AM GMT
    Chainers said
    SkittleGangsta said
    Chainers said
    MightyMouse87 said
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif


    So...you guys are saying I should cross it off of my MBA list?

    Sigh, good bye Seattle!!


    Not if you like hipsters


    So...run the fuck away from Seattle. Got it.


    Jeff, Rob, and I are here though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    SkittleGangsta said
    Chainers said
    SkittleGangsta said
    Chainers said
    MightyMouse87 said
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif


    So...you guys are saying I should cross it off of my MBA list?

    Sigh, good bye Seattle!!


    Not if you like hipsters


    So...run the fuck away from Seattle. Got it.


    Jeff, Rob, and I are here though.


    Someone has to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    I probably will apply to the school its really good.

    When I interview maybe the four of us could have a one hot 4 way diablo/magic nerd out?

    Oh it would be so damn hot!
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    May 22, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    Chainers said
    SkittleGangsta said
    Chainers said
    MightyMouse87 said
    Trollileo saidMy tax dollars... Are going to a D-I school... So they can research stereotyping?

    I'm really glad I didn't even apply there.


    Trust me, there are a lot of other good reasons that you should be glad you didn't apply to UW icon_smile.gif


    So...you guys are saying I should cross it off of my MBA list?

    Sigh, good bye Seattle!!


    Not if you like hipsters


    So...run the fuck away from Seattle. Got it.


    If anyone needs a "replacement" person to live in Seattle, I'm your guy.

    Probably should take my gaydar into UW for them to tune it up. Lately, it has been way, way off.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:42 AM GMT
    Chainers said

    Someone has to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    I probably will apply to the school its really good.

    When I interview maybe the four of us could have a one hot 4 way diablo/magic nerd out?

    Oh it would be so damn hot!


    This only happens in my wildest fantasies. It's like my version of having a that hot straight friend ask you to help him experiment, then having him become your fb.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
    SkittleGangsta said
    Chainers said

    Someone has to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    I probably will apply to the school its really good.

    When I interview maybe the four of us could have a one hot 4 way diablo/magic nerd out?

    Oh it would be so damn hot!


    This only happens in my wildest fantasies. It's like my version of having a that hot straight friend ask you to help him experiment, then having him become your fb.


    There is a hot straight guy? I thought they were a myth!

    Actually, there is a hot straight guy, he goes to my gym, I would let him do terrible things to me!

    (don't tell Rob I am cruising and losing!)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 12:58 AM GMT
    all I know is that my Gaydar only works at a gay bar. in normal life, it is a "Hit and Miss" system. I need to open up a Trouble Ticket with IT.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
    TankerMedic saidall I know is that my Gaydar only works at a gay bar. in normal life, it is a "Hit and Miss" system. I need to open up a Trouble Ticket with IT.
    Indeed you should.. get that thing tuned up!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 1:04 AM GMT
    that studyThe researchers hoped that this study could help shed light on how sexual orientation, as a societal construct, is conceptualized.


    That's the conceptual point of doing this research. It is how other homosexuals identify other homosexuals... not how heterosexuals (who presumably lack a honed ability to detect homosexuals) stereotype you because you look gay.

    They use faces for these studies because body-type is extremely hard to generalized an randomize.

    I am usually very good at knowing if someone is gay, but the difference between me and someone ready to stereotype is that I know I could be wrong. I don't think homophobic people have a reputation for being fair.

    I've met guys who have told me they are upset when other people do not know they are gay. Most people don't know I'm gay and I took to wearing a rainbow necklace for a while just to make the announcement.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 1:12 AM GMT
    TropicalMark_GySgtUSMC said
    TankerMedic saidall I know is that my Gaydar only works at a gay bar. in normal life, it is a "Hit and Miss" system. I need to open up a Trouble Ticket with IT.
    Indeed you should.. get that thing tuned up!


    I know, RIGHT?!?!?!

    It is bad when you have to rely on your sisters or nieces or "girlfriends" to help you dress or buy clothes. I have NO fashion sense. I go to American Eagle, or Old Navy, or Gap or Hollister or AnF and I see what the maniquin is wearing and I get it in my colors and size. I have to use the female or gay guy that works there to help me. I am such a bad gay. LOL. and then I feel like an idiot because I don't know what the hell GLEE is or America's top model or that Paula Abdul is till alive. I didn't even know Madonna was coming out with new music.

    Am I a closeted straight?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 1:14 AM GMT
    when I came back from Iraq, Lady Gaga was just coming out. I thought her name was Lady GauhgGuagh (make the sound of chocking on a cock) cause it looking like she was all bout sex and getting laid.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 22, 2012 1:25 AM GMT
    TankerMedic said
    TropicalMark_GySgtUSMC said
    TankerMedic saidall I know is that my Gaydar only works at a gay bar. in normal life, it is a "Hit and Miss" system. I need to open up a Trouble Ticket with IT.
    Indeed you should.. get that thing tuned up!


    I know, RIGHT?!?!?!

    It is bad when you have to rely on your sisters or nieces or "girlfriends" to help you dress or buy clothes. I have NO fashion sense. I go to American Eagle, or Old Navy, or Gap or Hollister or AnF and I see what the maniquin is wearing and I get it in my colors and size. I have to use the female or gay guy that works there to help me. I am such a bad gay. LOL. and then I feel like an idiot because I don't know what the hell GLEE is or America's top model or that Paula Abdul is till alive. I didn't even know Madonna was coming out with new music.

    Am I a closeted straight?


    I've never once seen Glee and to my knowledge I don't think I've ever watched America's Top Model. I have no interest in Madonna either. And forget about shopping. I go inside a mall about once a year at best, and if I'm there for more than half an hour I start to get a headache. HATE HATE HATE shopping! Guess they'll have to execute us both for being bad gays. icon_eek.gif