Wouldn’t you know it—scientists have recently discovered that gaydar is, in fact, a real thing, at least on the surface!
According to a recent study conducted at the University of Washington, reported by MSN.com, 196 students were able to make “rapid and intuitive judgments” about the sexual orientation of random people in a series of photographs “with above-chance accuracy.” The photos were devoid of hairstyles, glasses, makeup or other signifiers that might sway the participants’ opinion.
What was most interesting about this study—at least as far as this writer is concerned—is that lesbians were more quickly and accurately detected than gay men. Moreover, the scientists concluded that sexual orientation cues come specifically from the mouth and nose region. So, does that mean that there’s such a thing as a gay nose? Hmmm.
But there’s also a clue in the method of research: all of the participants were college-age students. So is there some correlation between age and the ability to discern sexual orientation? Is this gaydar a phenomenon of the modern era? After all, no one in the old days picked up on Yul Brynner, Rock Hudson, or Freddie Mercury. For that matter, there are still people out there who, to this day, refuse to believe that Queen Latifah is a ‘mo.
The researchers, led by Joshua Tabak at the University of Washington, have stated that they will conduct more studies before they make a conclusive statement about the existence of gaydar.