You can ‘tell’ when someone is gay. How? You just can! Maybe it’s some subtle external signal, like noticing that his eyes linger slightly longer on your boyfriend’s rear than on yours. Maybe when he’s drunk he gets a little more camp. Maybe he’s giving off some sort of musk or hormone, or simply a ‘vibe’. Your gay best friend can TOTALLY tell when someone else is gay, closet or not.
We’ve all heard this, I’m sure. Maybe some of us think we have gaydar – I have never asked the skeptical community about it before. The research seems thin – unreplicated studies as listed here. There’s a lengthy article on the subject in the New York Times about the science of gaydar, in which it is claimed gay men are more likely to have counter-clockwise hair ‘whorls’ (the swirly bit at the crown), and increased density of fingerprint ridges, plus the usual claim about index finger length. So maybe it’s possible that some people areÂ unconsciouslyÂ picking up on these visual clues, or maybe it’s just confirmation bias.
Is there such a thing as gaydar? Do you think you have it? How reliably can you judge sexual orientation?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.