The Science Of Gayder - How To Know If Someone Is Gay Or Not?

Gaydar is the subject that leads to a good amount of scientific controversy as of late. Some researchers have argued that it’s real, while others have claimed that it’s a myth. So which one is it, real or myth?

Does gaydar really exist and, if so, how accurate is it?

People talk about ‘gaydar’ as the capacity to know whether someone is gay based on their intuition about the person. Here we are talking about how people make assumptions about others’ sexual interests based on some minimal information, such as the way someone dresses, walks, or talks.

A social psychologist at the University of Toronto, Dr. Nicholas Rule published a journal earlier this year in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in which he evaluated the collected scientific literature on this topic. Below are of the major points from his analysis.

There’s something to this concept

Most scientific analysis of gaydar recommends that there’s something to this concept.

These studies have focused on many different types of sexuality ideas, too. For instance, people seem to be able to identify sexual familiarization while listening to short audio recordings, but also while viewing silent videos. In addition, they can recognize sexual familiarization from still images of faces that appear on a computer screen for just a fraction of a second. These wide-ranging judgments suggest that gaydar can probably pick up on everything from one’s looks to movements to speech styles.

The inferences happen very swiftly

These sexual familiarization inferences happen very swiftly and seem to reflect automatic responses. In fact, when people are asked to think thoroughly before making the asexuality review, gaydar really becomes less accurate. In other words, the more people involved in it, the worse their gaydar is! This implies that we don’t certainly know if these determinations are based on correct real observations. Next proof for this point comes from studies in which people were asked why they made particular sexual familiarization judgments. It came out that they often lacked insight, particularly when they were able to gather very minimal information to make the judgment, such as a cropped image of a face that only displayed a person’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

Some appear to be more reasonable

Some people seem to have more reasonable gaydar than others. For example, people who hold anti-gay opinions typically perform worse in gaydar studies; by contrast, sexual minorities and people who have more experience.

Ovulating women have an improved sense of gaydar

In an especially engaging study, researchers observed that women’s gaydar was more accurate when they were in the ovulation period than when they weren’t. Put another way, when women are at peak fertility, their sensitivity to detect men who are gay from those who straight appear to improve.

There are more than just two sexualities

Most studies of gaydar include asking people to make either/or reviews: is this person gay or is this person straight? However, in fact, there are considerably more than just two sexualities out there. So what results when bisexual people are covered in gaydar research? It turns out that people can’t seem to certainly detect them as a separate group. Also, when people are given the chance to guess a target’s sexuality on a spectrum, rather than making either/or choices, gay and bisexual persons tend to be given almost similar ratings. This implies that gaydar really only distinguishes heterosexual from non-heterosexual, meaning it doesn’t significantly help when it comes to making more specific determinations.

This concept is better than chance guessing

Overall, gaydar helps people make sexual familiarization judgments that are better than chance guessing; however, they are far from accuracy. Most gaydar studies are set up so that members would be right 50% of the time were they to depend on chance guessing. Participants typically do much a bit better than this, though, with average accuracy rates in the range of 62-64%. Some researchers think that accuracy could probably be even higher in the actual world, where people usually have more ideas and information to work with compared to lab studies.

Conclusion: The research held to date implies that there is something to the idea of gaydar in that people appear able to intuitively detect others’ sexuality at levels higher than chance in response to a variety of ideas. At the same time, though, gaydar is certainly an imperfect tool and one that doesn’t certainly appear sensitive to the vast spectrum of sexualities that exist.

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