Although I've always wanted this particular superhuman power, I've never been very good at detecting other men's sexual orientation. Findings from a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, however, suggest I may be underestimating my gaydar abilities.

The January 2008 study investigated people's ability to identify homosexual men from pictures of their faces alone. In an initial experiment, researchers Nicholas Rule and Nalini Ambady from Tufts University perused online dating sites and carefully selected 45 straight male faces and 45 gay male faces. All of these photos were matched for orientation (only faces shown looking forward were used) and facial alterations (none of the images contained jewelry, glasses or facial hair). To control for context, the faces were also cut and pasted onto a white background for the study. These 90 faces were then shown to 90 participants in random order, who were asked simply to judge the target's "probable sexual orientation" (gay or straight) by pressing a button. Surprisingly, all participants (both men and women) scored above chance on this gaydar task, correctly identifying the gay faces. Even more surprisingly, accuracy rate was just as good when the images were exposed at a rapid rate of only 50 milliseconds, which offered participants no opportunity to consciously process the photo. (read Scientific American article)

Tags: gay, gaydar, orientation, sexual

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This raises the question is some knowledge bad? Is it bad to know whether blacks are faster runners or Asians are better at math? 

Very interesting question.

Actually, depending on the severity of it, therr are a few tell tail signs of alcoholism that show on the face.  The small blood vessels usualy burst, giving the person a redder than usual nose along with red eyes.

I'm sure it matters to gays. You talk as if everyone is straight.

I'm sure it matters to gays. You talk as if everyone is straight.

Um, no.  If you perceive it that way, with all due respect, that's your baggage, not mine.

 

I don't concern myself with whom is having sex with whom.  I'm more interested in what chemically/asthetically makes people want to have sex with a certain person.

Yeah, I totally get your point, but that's not how my comment was intended (and somehow I feel like I'm being baited here).

My intended point was that I'm more concerned with the biological mechanisms by which attraction is made possible more than I am with whom is banging whom.

The same reason why I don't involve myself in celebrity worship or most popular lifestyle choices.  It simply doesn't interest me.

I wasn't aware that I had to defend my position to you.

If you aren't getting what you feel like you need from me, then perhaps you can expedite the process by telling me what you're looking for.

Okay, how about this then.

I figured that in modern days, it would be more enlightened to judge people based on merit (if at all) instead of sexuality.  Yes, sexual orientation is part of how people define themselves, awesome.  Should it matter to them?  Sure, if they want it to.  Does someone's orientation alter or influence the way I (because I can only speak for myself) perceive them?  No, it doesn't.  I'm more interested in how the wiring is different from person to person.

Really, you care who is sleeping with whom?  Strange.

Then create that topic and see if anyone wants to discuss it. Your statement basically boils down to "I don't like this topic. I'd rather be discussing another one."

That's twice you've dictated my intentions to me while at the same time, being wrong.

Why do you keep doing that?

I can't help myself, I guess. 

Keep counting.

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