Facial Hints Sharpen People’s ‘Gaydar’ | Sexual Orientation
People canِ judge withِ surprising accuracy whetherِ someoneِ isِ gay orِ straight — evenِ when they’reِ lookingِ atِ a black-and-white photograph, cropped ofِ hair andِ identifying marks, andِ presented upside down.
The findings fromِ a University ofِ Washington study suggest people useِ a combination ofِ clues fromِ individual facial features andِ from theِ way thoseِ features fit togetherِ toِ makeِ snap judgments aboutِ sexual orientation, saidِ researcher Joshua Tabak, a graduate student inِ psychology.
We mayِ beِ doing thisِ soِ efficiently thatِ we mayِ not evenِ have toِ try toِ makeِ this judgment, Tabak told LiveScience.
Guessing sexual orientation
Tabak’s isِ not theِ firstِ study toِ find thatِ people canِ correctly guess a person’s sexual orientation fromِ a photograph moreِ often thanِ justِ byِ chance.
Still, that’sِ pretty impressive, heِ said, givenِ that researchers useِ cropped faces withoutِ hair, jewelry orِ other possibleِ hints aboutِ sexual orientation.
5 Myths About Gay People Debunked] What earlier studies hadِ not doneِ was toِ tease outِ howِ people makeِ these snap sexuality judgments.
As inِ previous studies, people wereِ betterِ than chance atِ guessing whetherِ theِ faces belonged toِ gay orِ straight people.
In a firstِ for studies ofِ this kind, theِ researchers wereِ able toِ directlyِ compare howِ people didِ when judging theِ sexual orientation ofِ men versusِ women.
There wereِ fewerِ false alarms thanِ when lookingِ atِ men, Tabak said, meaning instances whenِ a straight person wasِ judged gay.