Gaydar, it’s not just a one liner from sassy friends in romantic comedies anymore. It’s science fact.
A University of Washington study flashed faces for less than a blink of an eye and asked respondents to determine if the person was gay or straight. Not only did results come more accurate than chance, they also tracked accurate when displayed upside down.
Here are the parameters of the study:
In the study, 129 college students viewed 96 photos each of young adult men and women who identified themselves as gay or straight. Concerned that facial hair, glasses, makeup and piercings might provide easy clues, the researchers only used photos of people who did not have such embellishments. They cropped the grayscale photos so that only faces, not hairstyles, were visible.
By the numbers, women had more “gaydar readable” faces. Participants were 65 percent in choosing sexual orientation when the faces were right side up. 61 when upside down. Sorting the men proved harder, participants had 57 percent accuracy right side up and 53 upside down.