Researchers at the University of Washington and Cornell University showed volunteers a series of black-and-white photos of faces stripped of glasses, hairstyles, and makeup. These images were displayed for 50 milliseconds—or one-twentieth of a second—before students made a judgment on the subject's sexual orientation. When it came to accurately guessing the sexual orientation of women, students were right two-thirds of the time compared with 57% of the time for men.
Presumably the accuracy of a person's "gaydar" would increase with the more information available: voice, mannerisms, body characteristics... However, this study demonstrates that facial features alone carry clues about a person's sexuality.
Researchers are unsure if gaydar is a product of evolution, or if it is learned. If a product of biology, gaydar could be an adaptation for finding a suitable mate. If learned, our brains may simply develop these mental stereotypes unconsciously.
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