Gaydar: It's All in the Eyes

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2009 12:40 PM CDT
Gaydar: It's All in the Eyes
Laura Fefchak, right, and Nancy Robinson, center, of Urbandale, Iowa, react to the ruling in favor of same-sex marriage from the Iowa Supreme Court, April 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Purdy)

(Newser) – Gaydar is real, according to a new study, but only if you don’t think about it too hard. Participants were shown the faces of 98 straight women and 94 lesbians taken from a dating website, reports Miler-McCune, and were able to guess sexual orientation rapidly, at a rate better than chance. That held true even when the photos were cropped to include only the women’s eyes.

In a separate study, one group was told to identify the faces quickly, while another was to carefully consider each image. The snap-deciders proved accurate, while the thinkers did not, suggesting that conscious thought could inhibit the instinct. Researchers aren’t sure what causes the phenomenon; they hypothesize that lesbian faces may be more masculine “whether by nature, nurture, or both,” but aren’t sure what to make of the eyes-only result. (Read more gaydar stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.