The way people walk apparently broadcasts their sexual orientation, researchers have discovered. Participants in a new study were able to correctly identify gay men based only on their gait, a sign that “gaydar” might be real. “We can pick these signals up; we can tell who’s gay,” said one researcher. Well, at least in men. Women, by contrast, baffled observers.
The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, created motion capture models of gays and straights walking. More than 60% of observers identified gay men. Researchers are more interested in the observers than the observed. “This is important for the understanding of assumptions and bias," said one researcher. “Once you know an individual’s sexual orientation, every else is seen through that lens.”