People really do create studies around these things. We just report the news, Tumblr.
What earlier studies had not done was to tease out how people make these snap sexuality judgments. They might base it on individual facial features — nose or eyes — or they might look at how the features fit together in the face, such as how far apart the eyes are. Or it could be some combination of both.
Looking at faces upside down is known to mess up people’s processing of how faces fit together. In one popular optical illusion called the Thatcher effect, it’s tough to tell even when the eyes or mouth are flipped the wrong way around in an upside-down face. But even upside down, people are good at processing individual facial features.
Tabak and his co-author exploited this quirk of the brain by presenting photographs of 111 gay men, 122 straight men, 87 gay women and 93 straight women to 129 student volunteers. Some of the students saw upside-down faces, and others were shown the faces right-side up. In either case, the black-and-white cropped photos were presented for only 50 milliseconds.
What do you think?
- bphan likes this
- gloriousnymph answered: My friend is convinced one of our former classmates is gay because he dances. I don’t think it’s that easy.
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- benedictusantonius answered: This essentialist study is highly flawed. Read “Delusions of Gender” by Cordelia Fine for a gender parallel to sexual orientation.
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- purpleapple317 answered: having a “gaydar” has NOTHING to do with someone’s face at all.
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- zerodarkspooky answered: my gaydar is off apparently. I meet so many guys and I say “he’s gay” and the next day I see them with their girlfriend.
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- septemberforever answered: I think we should just leave them alone. You don’t see huge controversies about other people’s life styles. I say society should just backoff
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- vaguelyvagued answered: stop worrying about gaydar being real or not and teach people not to judge one another regardless of sexual orientation
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