Studies Say 'Gaydar' Is Real

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Boondocksaints, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Boondocksaints

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC
    Study Says 'Gaydar' Is Real -- Courant.com

    Study Says 'Gaydar' Is Real

    By WILLIAM WEIR | Courant Staff Writer
    August 21, 2008

    Not only does "gaydar" exist, suggests a study out of Tufts University, but it can work pretty fast.

    Some people say they can tell the sexual orientation of folks with little information, and now a study gives them data to back up their claims.

    Published in July's Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the study claims that people could guess fairly accurately ("better than chance") whether men were gay or straight by looking at photos of their faces.

    For the study, 15 undergraduate students, both male and female, were shown photos of faces of 90 men, evenly divided between gay and straight. The photos were taken from Internet personal ads and from Facebook. The study's lead author, graduate student Nicholas Rule, says men were used in this study for convenience, because they have a greater presence on the Internet than women.

    The researchers found that subjects could accurately determine in 50 milliseconds — one-twentieth of a second — whether the men were gay or straight about 60 percent of the time. Rule says all the subjects were accurate 55 percent to 70 percent of the time.

    When subjects were allowed to look at the photos for up to 10 seconds, they weren't much better at judging sexual orientation than in 50 milliseconds. But when subjects had only 33 milliseconds to consider each photo, their judgments were significantly less accurate.

    In the study, the researchers consider the possibility that the ability to suss out the sexual orientation of others serves an evolutionary purpose; knowing who you've got a shot at a date with helps a lot in assessing your mating opportunities. Rule says he would like to further explore this idea with another study using photos of women's faces.

    On the other hand, he says the study might just be an indication that we're much better than previously thought at perceiving overall characteristics of others, of which sexual orientation is just one of many.

    Rule has made something of a specialty out of facial features and snap judgments. Earlier this year, he published a study suggesting that certain facial features of companies' CEOs helped predict the profits of their businesses.

    The debate over whether homosexuality has its roots in nurture or nature has prompted studies in recent years on everything from voices to hair whorl patterns. Rule says his study doesn't address the question, because previous studies have shown that life experience can affect facial features. It also doesn't address what it was about the faces that led subjects to their conclusions. He says an ongoing study is looking at that.
     
  2. treatmeruff

    treatmeruff New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Manchester (GB)
    hmm. I always knew there had to be something... very interesting! Thanks!

    Pete.
    Lancashire, UK.
     
  3. Irish

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    555
    Albums:
    6
    Likes Received:
    596
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Verified:
    Photo
    This would make a lot more sense if it could in anyway result in reproduction, but two males are no more capable of procreating than two females. You need one of each, and "romance" serves no biological purpose, nature doesn't care who you have a shot with.

    This makes a lot more sense. Stereotypes have some basis and grounding in fact, and some people just "look gay." How do you think the results would change if every guy were forced to make a neutral face, had the same haircut, facial hair, etc? People are good at expressing themselves, and the ability to tell ~70% of the time whether someone is straight or gay isn't all that impressive, it's just moderately decent observation.

    They said there was an equal number of gay and straight men in the photo sets. Guessing either gay or straight the whole time would still give a 50% success rate. Incredible! 68.2% is still within one standard deviation of the normal distribution, so a 70% success rate just isn't really impressing me.

    Yes, it is unlikely that everyone would score on the high end of one standard deviation but I don't feel like redoing all the math for this study with only results as my data set, but... "Gaydar" and being able to tell some frat kid is straight from his Facebook pic are not exactly the same thing.
     
  4. Domisoldo

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,079
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Yes, but in RealWorld, USA, the so-called "gaydar" has far more information at its disposal to arrive at its conclusion: a photographic portait is static and typically contrived (the straight Irish dude may put on a macho bravado mask to please Mother); Gaydar would be able to assess voice, movement (gay gait?), attitude, and other markers.
     
  5. Irish

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    555
    Albums:
    6
    Likes Received:
    596
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Verified:
    Photo
    Exactly, which is why I don't feel the study proves a damn thing. Gaydar in RealWorld, USA is a hell of a lot more than some form of ESP, it's evaluating many qualities about a person, categorizing them, and comparing them with other patterns and trends you've noticed and come to rely on as a suitable base of knowledge.

    Again, observation vs. some extra sense/evolutionary tool. And once more, observation makes more sense.
     
  6. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    18,199
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    860
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles (CA, US)
    OK, I see a flaw in the study just from this line. Putting "straight" on your Facebook page, isn't really the most definitive identifier. I know a good handful of guys that have sex with men about 75% of the time, that put "straight" in their profile, for various reasons (job, family, etc.). Now, granted, I don't know ANY straight guys that would label their profiles with "gay" (well, OK, perhaps someone like our long-departed, impish, dick-tease, Spladle, but you know what I mean), so at least THAT part of the survey is accurate. I'm just saying that whether there actually are traits, or not, the method used here could easily render the following result:

    Subject: "Oh, that guy is a TOTAL 'mo"
    Interviewer: "Nope, I'm sorry, you're wrong. He has straight on his Facebook page."

    When, in fact, the guy had been gangbanged the night before, by 1/2 the guys on his dorm's floor. I'm just sayin... :rolleyes:
     
  7. Irish

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    555
    Albums:
    6
    Likes Received:
    596
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Verified:
    Photo
    An outstandingly good point, novice_btm. I didn't even really consider the problem with the original data set. Still, though, was the 70% accuracy from false positives or the reverse?

    i.e. Was the 70% higher or lower than what was actually true? If they positively identified closeted gay men then the results would look disappointing (like they do) even if they were actually correct (but unable to verify due to said closeted status), or did they flag too many gay men as straight?

    Of course, having closeted gay men in the photo sets throws off the ratio, too.

    I would like to assume that they were at least dealing with an accurate set of data. There's just something about LPSG that seems to assume everyone is at least bi.

    I just read in another thread that one guy enjoying another guy's cock because it's fun is "normal" and doesn't mean you aren't straight. It doesn't seem unreasonably hard to find 45 straight men between Facebook, personal ads, etc. I'm sure there are at least that many out there. :p
     
  8. Domisoldo

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,079
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Ya know humans are impossibly hard to experiment with: they lie, they cheat, they do things mice would never dream of doing.

    Sorry PETA, we still need the fuit flies, the mice and the baboons.
     
  9. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    18,199
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    860
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles (CA, US)
    Well, I've always been one that subscribes to the, "There are infinite shades of grey, between 100% black, and 100% white." However, I DO believe that there actually are those that are 100% of one or the other, whereas some insist that everyone is a "grey". I think that here, there are a lot of amazing men, that happen to be 100% straight, and since they're so attractive, a lot of wishful thinking gets introduced. In defense of that, though, the majority of sex I've had, has been self-identified "straight" men, including a couple that were "happily married, with children", so you have to allow for why so many are skeptical of the 100% claims.

    Oh, I'm not so sure about that. I mean, any man that would put himself online... well, people just naturally wonder. :rolleyes::tongue:
     
  10. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    25
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Warwick, NY, USA
    Doesn't it? Ogg's maturing daughter needs a mate. He sees Fug and Fag kill a bison and notes they are good hunters and how strong they are. Perhaps Fag.... wait, no. Fug! Yes, Fug will make a good mate for Ogg's daughter. Better invite Fug over for dinner.

    Given what we know about the superior ability of women to notice detail, I suspect they would do even better in this test and that would certainly show a more direct biological purpose.

    Perhaps the ability of men to detect sexual preference in other men is the same ability men would use to determine lesbianism in women? The ability may just happen to work in determining sexual orientation in both sexes. I would have liked them to have expanded this study to see if men do as well with lesbian faces.

    Still, I believe gaydar does serve a biological interest as it is only relatively recently in human society, and in only some cultures, that gays are not expected to reproduce. Pairing and reproducing has been the overriding concern for societies no matter what one's sexual orientation is. You WILL marry and YOU will inseminate your wife has been the overriding concern of nearly every society we know of. My guess is that the sociological reproductive imperative has overriden that of sexual preference.

    IF homosexuality is genetic, then we need a working theory as to why this apparently self-extinguishing gene has survived for so long.
     
  11. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,742
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Female
    I have better gaydar than most of my gay friends.. what gives?
     
  12. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    25
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Warwick, NY, USA
    Exactly. As a woman you should! Does it work equally well with lesbians?
     
  13. TurkeyWithaSunburn

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,543
    Albums:
    5
    Likes Received:
    252
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    What about the walking study?

    The one where they had men (and women, I think) walking with just red lights on the joints and the body was all "blacked out".
     
  14. ZOS23xy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,073
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    directly above the center of the earth
    I'd have to wonder about all these gay men who find themselves attracted only to married men?

    The idea is fine, but the study is right in there with the bell curve. There's a point were it seems logical, and there's points where it is non existent. And all these men who think they're straight...where do they fit in?
     
  15. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,742
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Female
    Not well at all. Just boys!! :D
     
  16. Irish

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    555
    Albums:
    6
    Likes Received:
    596
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Verified:
    Photo
    An interesting point, I just can't bring myself to agree with it. I don't think Ogg invited Fug or Fag over for dinner and courting and romance of his daughter. Usually, in the animal kingdom, a male "advertises" in some way and females respond. There's no romance.

    If a male (in nature) is advertising to females an interest in mating, nobody needs Gaydar. I'm just not buying it as an evolutionary tool.
     
  17. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    18,199
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    860
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles (CA, US)
    I don't know if it was, but if this was intended for me, well, it's quite the opposite. While I agree that there are many "straight chasers", that's not me. I'm not being defensive. I'm just clarifying, since it looks like I was the only one that really mentioned this scenario.

    First, I'm really just open, and don't have a type, and find many people to be attractive, before I have any clue about if they are straight, gay, married, or single. (Quick example: I said to a friend, "Wow, look at the build on that guy, and he's good looking too." She responded, "Forget it. I know him and he's totally straight." I answered, "Um, I didn't say I wanted to bag him, and whether he's straight or gay, doesn't make him any more or less attractive.") Second, I never make first moves. I'm not pleading that I'm a victim, far from it. I'm just saying that these married men pursued me, not the other way around. So, it's only fair to also pose the question as to why so many "married men" pursue other men. :cool:
     
  18. MarkLondon

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,986
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London, UK
    A woman at work told me she could reliably tell gay men. "It's something in the eyes." I thought about that and realised that when I walk down the street I don't look at women much, attractive or not. But my eyes are drawn to men that I find attractive. And when I'm talking to a woman I'm looking her in the face without any sexual desire, not eyeing her breasts or fantasising about kissing her mouth. I'm sure they recognise that, even if only subconsciously.

    Seeing as she got on well with gay guys, maybe she ejoyed the lack of sexual pressure (she was very attractive). And a fun person to work with. :smile:
     
  19. ZOS23xy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,073
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    directly above the center of the earth
    Not intended for you, but from my own life and experiences: some men are damn clueless with people.

    The "gaydar" stuff looses a bit men straight men can't find a clue the woman they're hitting on doesn't want anything to do with them

    Let's ring it up to what it really is: "specified empathy". An ability to read signals from people about their inner natures. This classification can include "gaydar". Not everyone can read people, because some people are clueless and other people aren't interesting to read. Even the gay ones.
     
  20. B_Jaunet

    B_Jaunet New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    gaydar is real

    it hasn't failed me yet

    What about all those gay animals?

    I swear I saw two male penguins chatting about a newbie in the cage at the Bronx Zoo sizing him up for gay lunch.

    Amen brotha Els
     
    #20 B_Jaunet, Aug 22, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
Draft saved Draft deleted