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Dissecting Gaydar August 30, 2009

Posted by Geekgirl in LGBT, sexual orientation, social.

I’ve often wondered. Is “gaydar” real? Is it based on stereotypes? I admit. My gaydar is broken. If I even have one. Quite honestly, I’m more worried about my inability to follow directions…..

Arch Sex Behav. 2008 Sep 23.

Dissecting “Gaydar”: Accuracy and the Role of Masculinity-Femininity.

Rieger G, Linsenmeier JA, Gygax L, Garcia S, Bailey JM.

Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, 2029 Sheridan Rd., Swift Hall #102, Evanston, IL, 60208, USA, gerulf@northwestern.edu.

“Gaydar” is the ability to distinguish homosexual and heterosexual people using indirect cues. We investigated the accuracy of gaydar and the nature of “gaydar signals” conveying information about sexual orientation. Homosexual people tend to be more sex atypical than heterosexual people in some behaviors, feelings, and interests. We hypothesized that indicators of sex atypicality might function as gaydar signals.

In Study 1, raters judged targets’ sexual orientation from pictures, brief videos, and sound recordings. Sexual orientation was assessed with high, though imperfect, accuracy.

In Study 2, different raters judged targets’ sex atypicality from the same stimuli. Ratings of sexual orientation from Study 1 corresponded highly with targets’ self-reports of sex atypicality and with observer ratings of sex atypicality from Study 2. Thus, brief samples of sex-atypical behavior may function as effective gaydar signals.



1. HalfGay - August 30, 2009

Gaydar has almost become a badge of honor with some “gay” friendly folks…like the term faghag. The gay community is still developing boundaries for what is acceptable and what is not. And within that, there are, of course, exceptions. I think once we see the gay community become more a part mainstream this term will disappear.

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