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Study Suggests ‘Gaydar’ May Come Naturally

A recent study from Albright College examined how perceived sexual orientation is influenced by facial symmetry and proportions. Researchers found that self-identified heterosexuals had facial features that were slightly more symmetrical than homosexuals. And the more likely raters perceived someone as heterosexual, the more symmetrical that person's features were.

We all know that using a person's mannerisms, aesthetic profile, and personality quirks to make assumptions about their sexual orientation has the potential to open up a Pandora's Box of sex and gender-based wrongness. Still, despite how politically incorrect it may be, it's human nature to use a complex matrix of our own past experiences and personal biases to make split-second judgments about people. 

And, as Dr. Susan Hughes points out, perhaps there is an evolutionary basis in this.

"The ability to assess the sexual orientation of others may be an adaptive trait. In terms of mate selection and romance, it's crucial to recognize [others' sexual orientation]."

While this may be true, is the plus of using "gaydar" to weed out potential partners worth the considerable minus that can potentially come from using assumptions about a person's sexual orientation to make judgments and possibly discriminate? 





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