In what can only be described as an effort to test every stupid little thing in life researchers at the University of Washington and Cornell University decided it was time to test Gaydar. If you’re not familiar with Gaydar, you’re lying you really know what it is you just don’t want to be insensitive and admit it, Gaydar is the ability that people have to accurately guess if a person is gay or straight with no interaction.
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.
They even took the faces and turned them upside down to see what difference that made. In every case for both men and women the students were able to distinguish the faces as either gay or straight with statistically significant accuracy.
The results in men was less accurate than in women which was interesting. The thought there was that the gay man has become so commonplace that people have a harder time picking out a face as definitely gay or definitely straight. The study also found that not everyone had the Gaydar. Some test subjects were not able to distinguish a straight face from a gay face at all.