Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Study shows that human "gaydar" is pretty accurate


A team of researchers from Cornell University and the University of Washington recently completed a study which may have implications for sexual health and gay rights, as it reveals that people are generally good at identifying whether a person is hetero- or homosexual just by looking at their face.

The team reported that their findings may help to debunk theories that gay people should behave differently in order to avoid discrimination, as the discovery shows that our identification of people based on sexual orientation may be subconscious.

"It may be similar to how we don't have to think about whether someone is a man or a woman or black or white," said lead author Joshua Tabak, a psychology graduate student at the University of Washington. "This information confronts us in everyday life."

In a clinical trial, the researchers discovered that people were able to identify gay women with 65 percent accuracy. When the images of the women were flipped, the accuracy rate dropped to 61 percent, which is still well above what would occur by chance.

The volunteers were less deft at identifying gay men, as the accuracy rate was 57 percent when they were shown normal images and 53 percent for photos shown upside-down.