That is to say, people seem to have honed and calibrated their gaydar without knowing they've done so.Frankly, these findings are a little puzzling to me.Or maybe hairstyles are suggestive of sexual orientation.
Rather, the use of certain expressions can become ingrained in the musculature of the face over time.
Since effeminate gay men utilize similar facial expressions as women, they develop female aging and muscle contraction patterns in their face.
Gay face includes an eye expression that is both surprised-looking and predatory.
Eyebrows are usually arched higher than that of straight men, and eyebrow hair is manicured.
Rule and his co-authors mention a few lackluster evolutionary reasons why it would be biologically adaptive for women to know which men aren't worth the trouble and for men to know who's not really a sexual competitor.
But they also acknowledge that it's impossible to know from these findings what exactly it is about these facial features that give gays away.In an initial experiment, researchers Nicholas Rule and Nalini Ambady from Tufts University perused online dating sites and carefully selected 45 straight male faces and 45 gay male faces.All of these photos were matched for orientation (only faces shown looking forward were used) and facial alterations (none of the images contained jewelry, glasses or facial hair)."Thus," the authors wrote, "by using photos of gay and straight individuals that they themselves did not post, we were able to remove the influence of self-presentation and much of the potential selection bias that may be present in photos from personal advertisements." Again, the authors superimposed these male faces (this time 80 gay and 80 straight) onto a white background.They then photoshopped off the participants' hairstyles, this time truly leaving only the faces as a source of information about sexual orientation.Surprisingly, all participants (both men and women) scored above chance on this gaydar task, correctly identifying the gay faces.